ARIZONA CARDINALS

DeAndre Hopkins makes presence known in Cardinals return vs. Saints

Oct 20, 2022, 8:32 PM | Updated: Oct 21, 2022, 2:01 am

(Arizona Sports Photo/Jeremy Schnell)...

(Arizona Sports Photo/Jeremy Schnell)

(Arizona Sports Photo/Jeremy Schnell)

DeAndre Hopkins took the field for the Arizona Cardinals Thursday night for the first time since December 2021, and he had a major role on offense in a 42-34 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

Hopkins caught his first pass of the season after serving a six-game PED suspension on Arizona’s first drive to a rousing applause from the fans at State Farm Stadium.

He reeled in four passes in the first half for 37 yards before seeing more production after the break.

The three-time All-Pro finished the game with 10 catches on 14 targets for 103 yards.

“I spent a lot of time in the offseason preparing for this moment,” Hopkins told reporters postgame. “Obviously, I knew what I was up against being out six games.

“I got to give thanks to everybody who had a hand in me coming out and being able to perform. It takes a team — trainers, rehab people, nutritionists. I think today obviously was a success. The main goal is to win.”

It wasn’t a perfect outing, as he did not come up with a couple of grabs Cardinals fans have grown accustomed to seeing, while quarterback Kyler Murray did not see an open Hopkins on a pair of occasions.

However, Hopkins led the Cardinals in targets and receptions while drawing multiple holding flags against the New Orleans defense.

Hopkins produced his first 100-yard game since the 2020 season.

The Cardinals’ offense was in need of answers after last week’s 19-9 defeat, and Hopkins’ ability to get open made life a bit easier off the bat.

The receiver is setting high expectations for himself, as evidenced by his return hype video he posted before the game.

The Cardinals scored 40 points for the first time under head coach Kliff Kingsbury with the help of two defensive scores, a pair of touchdown rushes and Hopkins helping the offense move along.

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