ARIZONA CARDINALS

Report: DeAndre Hopkins opting for MCL surgery in hopes of return

Dec 16, 2021, 6:38 AM | Updated: 8:16 am
DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals looks on from the side line during the second quarter ...
DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals looks on from the side line during the second quarter of the game against the Carolina Panthers at State Farm Stadium on November 14, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins is undergoing surgery to repair an MCL in his knee, reports NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

While that means a certain move to the injured reserve list, Rapoport added it’s the only option to repair a “badly torn” MCL while also aiming for a return should the Cardinals go deep into the postseason.

A six-week recovery period, according to Rapoport, is expected. Hopkins is meeting with Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Thursday to schedule the surgery.

CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson adds that the team internally is bracing for a two-to-four month recovery time before Hopkins undergoes surgery.

Aiming for a late January return would allow Hopkins to potentially make an appearance this postseason.

After the Wild Card round two weeks into January, the divisional games are Jan. 22-23, 2022, while the conference championship games are both scheduled for Jan. 30, 2022.

Arizona holds a 10-3 record with four games left and can clinch a playoff berth with a win Sunday against the 1-11-1 Detroit Lions.

Hopkins has 42 catches (tied for third on the Cardinals) for 572 yards (third) this year. His eight receiving touchdowns still leads the team this season, even though he has missed three games with a hamstring issue.

Hopkins played in the last two games coming out of a bye week before injuring his knee on a late jump-ball catch attempt Monday in a 30-23 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Those three games without Hopkins gave the Cardinals a chance to seek out in-house alternatives.

Lanky outside man Antoine Wesley played more than 70% of the snaps in the trio of games with Hopkins sidelined, and rookie Rondale Moore could be used more often, albeit in different packages.

Christian Kirk also took on a near-100% role when Arizona was without Hopkins, while the imminent return of running back Chase Edmonds could give head coach Kliff Kingsbury another in-house tweak at his disposal.

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