Report: Cardinals’ DeAndre Hopkins ‘could be back’ by NFC Championship

Dec 19, 2021, 7:49 AM | Updated: 11:50 am

DeAndre Hopkins...

(L-R) D.J. Humphries #74 and DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals leave the field after the game against the Carolina Panthers at State Farm Stadium on November 14, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Kelsey Grant/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kelsey Grant/Getty Images)

If the Arizona Cardinals can make a deep run in the playoffs, they could potentially get a huge piece for the two biggest games of the season.

There’s a chance injured wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who underwent surgery for a “badly torn” MCL this past week, “could be back” for the NFC Championship game or Super Bowl, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday.

Schefter adds that expecting the wideout back in the fold before then is “unrealistic.”

The timeline of Hopkins’ recovery fits in line with CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson’s report, who said Thursday the team internally was bracing for a two-to-four month recovery time for the wide receiver ahead of surgery.

At the end of the Cardinals’ second-to-last drive Monday in a 30-23 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, Hopkins went up for a jump ball and got up slowly before heading to the sideline. He was not in for Arizona’s last drive.

Following the matchup, Hopkins underwent an MRI on his knee before getting a second opinion and eventually opting for MCL surgery. The team placed him and cornerback Robert Alford (pectoral) on the injured reserve on Saturday.

Hopkins has 42 catches for 572 yards and eight touchdowns this season but has missed three games with a hamstring issue. He played in the last two games coming out of a bye week.

Hopkins has been hit hard by the injury bug this season, having already missed three games (Weeks 9-11) with a hamstring issue before suffering the knee injury.

With Hopkins sidelined, wide receiver Antoine Wesley is in line for some added reps.

The Cardinals take on the Lions on Sunday at 11 a.m. Tune to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station for all the action.

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