ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins ‘ahead of schedule’ on MCL rehab

Feb 11, 2022, 10:24 AM | Updated: 10:24 am

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins’ season came to an abrupt end thanks to a torn MCL suffered in Week 14.

Placed on the injured reserve, all the wideout could do was sit back and watch as the Cardinals fell at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Wild Card round.

“That was probably one of the worst feelings that I’ve had since playing in the NFL,” Hopkins told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday. “Getting there, winning 10-11 games and basically knowing your team needs you to kinda get to where they need to get to and not being able to help, it was helpless. Sometimes I didn’t want to be around the facility … just because I care so much about it. It was hard.”

Hopkins’ value to the team is unquestioned. Despite playing 10 games this season, the wide receiver still outpaced all Cardinals pass catchers with eight touchdowns, three more than Arizona’s No. 2 receiving threat Christian Kirk (5).

Hopkins’ presence on the field alone changes things for the Cardinals offense, with defenses forced to either double team or take a 1-on-1 gamble against the three-time All-Pro.

And with the likes of Kirk and A.J. Green hitting free agency this offseason, the return of a healthy Hopkins is imperative for an offense needing to get back to its first half of the season form.

But while Hopkins would love to go back in time and change the circumstances, dwelling on the past isn’t going to help him as he looks ahead to the future.

Luckily for Hopkins and the Cardinals, it sounds like the wide receiver is moving along in the rehab process.

“It’s going great, I’m actually ahead of schedule,” Hopkins said. “I wish I could have helped the guys get to the Super Bowl this year. That was more hurtful than the injury itself, not playing.”

As far as his thoughts on quarterback Kyler Murray’s recent Instagram scrubbing? It all boils down to fashion for Hopkins.

“Only thing I can think why is because he wanna show off some new outfits for the upcoming season and he didn’t want you guys to look at those,” Hopkins said with a smile. “That was just off the top of my head honestly.”

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