Hard Knocks recap: DeAndre Hopkins’ mom steals the show
After a week off for both the Arizona Cardinals and HBO cameras, Hard Knocks was back for its fifth installment on Wednesday night.
Off the field, we got a closer look into DeAndre Hopkins’ life and the inspiration he gets from his mother, Sabrina Greenlee.
On the field, we saw a few different angles of quarterback Kyler Murray’s season-ending ACL tear on Monday Night Football and the moments directly following the injury.
A look at a very vulnerable edition of Hard Knocks In Season: Arizona Cardinals:
A mother’s love
Hopkins and his mother took a prominent spot in this week’s episode.
Most know the wideout for his insane one-handed grabs and his way with words — “better catch by I” — but Hopkins’ drive to succeed goes well beyond the football field.
Hopkins and his family have had to endure a lot growing up. He lost his dad at an early age and nearly lost his mom a decade later after another woman splashed a concoction of bleach and other chemicals on Greenlee.
Due to the severity of the attack, she was put in a medically induced coma and underwent multiple surgeries. Once she woke up about a month later, she was blind with a long road to recovery ahead.
More than a game. pic.twitter.com/3AuHFaLY0D
— Deandre Hopkins (@DeAndreHopkins) December 14, 2022
Greenlee didn’t let her it stop her from attending Hopkins’ football games, though there was apprehension at first. Luckily, the wideout was there to ease her mind and let her know how important it was for her to be there for him.
The cameras followed Greenlee and Hopkins’ sister, Shanterria, for the Monday Night Football matchup against the New England Patriots.
Unable to see the game, Greenlee still was able to follow along with Shanterria filling her in on all the good, like Hopkins’ first-down catches, and the bad, most notably the wide receiver’s fumble in the third quarter that helped further shift momentum in New England’s favor.
Bill & Hop
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is usually a man of few words.
Unless your name is Hopkins, that is.
Belichick and the wide receiver were caught sharing pleasantries a few times over the course of Monday Night Football.
“I’m glad we only have to play you every four years,” the head coach told Hopkins. “Missed half the season and still going to lead the league in receiving.”
“I’m glad we only have to play you every four years.”
— NFL (@NFL) December 14, 2022
While the story of Hopkins and his mother was uplifting, the episode wasn’t without its tough moments, specifically, Murray’s season-ending knee injury suffered just three plays into the loss on Monday night.
— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) December 15, 2022
Getting a closer look at the play itself and the reactions from both sides, you could feel the wind being sucked out of Arizona’s sails.
“It’s his knee,” wide receivers coach and associate head coach Shawn Jefferson said somberly to head coach Kliff Kingsbury on the sideline when Murray first went down.
Hopkins’ hands on his helmet said it all.
J.J. Watt, the mentor
There were a few instances where Watt’s leadership shined through on Hard Knocks.
One was his chats with rookie outside linebacker Cameron Thomas, who had to be absolutely geeked to be swapping info with someone he looked up to growing up.
Thomas went on to help force an interception in the loss to the Patriots. And right there to congratulate him on the sideline was Watt.
The other moments that stuck out during Watt’s camera time were his times chatting with Zach Allen.
Whether they were talking football or about their dog-grooming techniques, you can tell there’s a real bond there.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) December 15, 2022