DeAndre Hopkins’ energy infectious on Arizona Cardinals players, coaches
TEMPE — He may not have remedied all of the Arizona Cardinals’ offensive miscues, but wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins gave it a shot in his return from a six-game PED suspension on Thursday night.
Hopkins was all over the field in the Week 7 win over the New Orleans Saints, recording 10 catches on 14 targets for 103 yards. The offense was clearly a step ahead from previous weeks with him back in the lineup.
And even when he wasn’t causing opposing DBs fits, Hopkins continued to make his presence known on the sideline by keeping his teammates energized and locked in at the task at hand.
“I felt like just going out there, you step on the field with DeAndre Hopkins and you know he’s all business,” running back Eno Benjamin said Tuesday. “I feel like collectively as a whole, you want to bring that same energy to match because you know what he’s all about and you know what he brings to the table.
“Just even for a young guy like me to go out there with a veteran guy kind of makes me want to play better and step up for the team.”
It’s not just offensive players feeling energized by Hopkins’ presence, either.
He may not share the field with Arizona’s defense, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t leave a mark on the unit Thursday, whether that was getting on star backer Isaiah Simmons to clean up his play or being one of the offensive players running down to celebrate a pick-six with the defense.
Welcome Back Hopins 😉
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) October 25, 2022
“Definitely having D-Hop on the sideline was a different vibe and a different vibe for the opposing defense just because he’s a huge target and it’s hard for them to be able to stop him,” linebacker Zaven Collins said Tuesday. “Just watching what he does — there was a sideline play where he throws his hand up and I’m sitting there thinking the ball’s going to go high and all of a sudden, I see the ball come out low and he stops and turns around. I would have been wrong, too.
“It’s just stuff like that where you’re just sitting back and are like, ‘Oh, it makes sense.’ It’s definitely a vibe with Hopkins on the sideline. He gives a lot of motivation throughout the whole team, not just the offensive side, defense too.”
Hopkins will need to bring that same energy this week against a 5-1 Minnesota Vikings squad that is allowing 256.3 yards per game to opposing wide receivers — and 272 total passing yards, fifth-most in the NFL.