Kliff Kingsbury: DeAndre Hopkins’ return in Week 7 ‘is going to uplift us’
The Arizona Cardinals’ 19-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 6 represented more than just another blemish in the win-loss column.
It marked the last game without No. 1 wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
The receiver, who has been sidelined for the first six games of the season due to a PED suspension, is eligible to come back in Week 7.
Hopkins has been able to use the team facility in a limited capacity since Week 4 but will now be able to practice and attend group workouts when the team reconvenes ahead of a Thursday Night Football matchup against the New Orleans Saints.
“Every time I see him, I’ve got a big smile on my face,” quarterback Kyler Murray said Wednesday. “He’s got a big smile, too. Just having him around and understanding how much he loves it and how much he misses it. … He’s one of our leaders and we can’t wait to have him back.”
The wide receiver’s return couldn’t come at a better time for a Cardinals offense that has floundered through most of the season.
In the team’s loss to the Seahawks on Sunday, the Cardinals offense was held to just three points against a defense that entered Week 6 allowing the second-most points per game at 30.8.
Getting a player of Hopkins’ caliber back in the fold will hopefully move the needle in the right direction for the Cardinals.
“He’s a playmaker, obviously,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury told Cardinals sideline reporter Paul Calvisi after the loss to the Seahawks. “His level of competitiveness, the way he practices, the way he talks, it’s going to be good for us. It’s going to uplift us and it’s a tall task for him on a short week going into Thursday night, but I’m sure he’ll be fired up to play.”
While Hopkins is scheduled to be back at practice this week, the same can’t be said for fellow wide receiver Hollywood Brown, who injured his foot late in the loss and had to be helped off the field.
The wide receiver was seen in a boot and walking with a noticeable limp after the game and told reporters X-rays were negative. With a quick turnaround this week, though, his status for TNF is very much up in the air.
Brown has been the Cardinals’ No. 1 receiving option this season, pacing Arizona’s pass catchers across the board statistically. He had five catches for 68 yards Sunday before exiting the game.