Monday, June 27, 2022

Former Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald reacts to DeAndre Hopkins’ suspension

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The Arizona Cardinals took a hard hit after news of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins’ six-game PED suspension on May 2.

Hopkins is eligible to attend all preseason practices and games before the regular season and will be accepted into the Cardinals active roster after game six of the regular season.

Despite missing seven games in 2021 with hamstring and knee injuries, Hopkins still led the Cardinals by eight touchdowns. The Cardinals were 3-5 in Hopkins’ absence — including a 34-11 playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams. In 10 games last season, Hopkins had 42 catches for 572 yards as the team won 8-2.

Hopkins’ six-game suspension came after testing positive for an anabolic agent, under the NFL’s updated PED policy.

After the news, Hopkins tweeted a statement, said: “In my 10-year NFL career, I have never tested positive for the use of any performance-enhancing drugs. When I learned that my November test came back for trace elements of a banned substance, I was confused and shocked.

Questions about Hopkins’ legacy may arise after his recent positive drug test.

But a former Hopkins teammate doesn’t want to be a part of discrediting the five-time Pro Bowler.

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Former Cardinals tall wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has yet to officially announce his retirement from football, but it might as well be set in stone. The 39-year-old last played in 2020 and has previously stated that he has no interest in playing football.

Fitzgerald was stopped at an airport by TMZ Sports and asked if he thinks the suspension will hurt Hopkins’ legacy.

“I don’t think so,” Fitzgerald said. “He’ll still be a Hall of Famer. He’s talented. He will work through it. It’s an adversity and he’s a tough guy, he’s resourceful. He will work his way through.”

The Houston Texans traded Hopkins to the Cardinals ahead of the 2020 season. Hopkins and Fitzgerald only played one season together, which would see the Cardinals finish 2020 8-8 and miss the playoffs.

Fitzgerald mentioned that the Cardinals “have some talented guys” to handle things in the passing game while Hopkins is out. He also spoke about the deal with Hollywood Brown and that the Cardinals ended up with Zach Ertz.

“Obviously it’s a big blow, but I think they’ll be able to weather the storm,” he said.

The release of the NFL schedule was unveiled on May 12 and the first six weeks the Cardinals will play without Hopkins were announced.

Arizona will face the Chiefs, Raiders, Rams, Panthers, Eagles and Seahawks before Hopkins returns in Week 7.

Arizona’s strong schedule is second most difficult as its 2022 2021 opponents went 157-132. The Los Angeles Rams possess the toughest schedule, with opponents posting a 164-125 record.

Until Hopkins returns, Brown will likely land the Cardinals’ No. 1 receiving role. The Cardinals also received a third-round pick from the Baltimore Ravens, which would end up being edge rusher Myjai Sanders, for a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft.

The release of the NFL schedule was unveiled on May 12 and the first six weeks the Cardinals will play without Hopkins were announced.

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