The Arizona Cardinals‘ offense suffered a major loss Monday. Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is being suspended for six games for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy, according to a league source with knowledge of the NFL’s punishment for the veteran player.
DeAndre Hopkins suspended six games for PED violation
The NFL later verified the suspension in a statement:
“DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals has been suspended without pay for the first six games of the 2022 regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances. Hopkins is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games. He will be allowed to return to the Cardinals’ active roster following the team’s sixth regular-season game.”
Hopkins issued a statement Monday night: “In my 10-year NFL career, I have never tested positive for using performance-enhancing drugs. To learn that my November test came back with trace elements of a banned substance, I was confused and shocked. I am very mindful of what I put in my body and have always taken a holistic approach, so I am working with my team to investigate how this could’ve happened. But even as careful as I have been, clearly I wasn’t careful enough. For that, I apologize to Cardinals fans, my teammates and the entire Cardinals organization. I never want to let my team down. I fully intend to get to the bottom of this. As soon as I have more information, I will share it. DeAndre Hopkins.”
This makes sense as perhaps why the Cardinals traded for wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown during the 2022 NFL Draft. Brown’s acquisition softens the blow a bit, but it doesn’t completely make up for the loss of one of the most dynamic wide receivers in the game.
Hopkins, 29, is one of the NFL’s highest-paid wide receivers and is currently playing under a two-year, $54.5 million contract extension he signed after being traded from the Houston Texans. In 2020. Texans traded Hopkins, a three-time first-team All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection in Houston, for RB David Johnson, a second-round pick that they used to draft TCU DT Ross Blacklock, and a fourth-round pick swap.
In his first season with the Cardinals, Hopkins caught 115 passes for 1,407 yards and 6 touchdowns and was named second-team All-Pro.
Last year, Hopkins caught 42 passes for 572 yards and 8 touchdowns on 63 targets. Now, the Cardinals are going to have to manufacture a way to replace Hopkins’ proven skills and production. This is a serious blow for the Cardinals, who were expected to be a playoff contender given the presence of star quarterback Kyler Murray and other top players.
Hopkins’ marketing representative, Doug Sanders, issued a statement to Pro Football Network saying that Hopkins intends to prove he didn’t knowingly take a banned substance.
“Today, the NFL announced their decision to suspend DeAndre Hopkins as a result of a November drug test that came back with trace elements of a banned substance,” Sanders said. “DeAndre and everyone who works with him is completely shocked by this finding because he is extremely diligent about what he puts in his body.
“His October and December tests were negative and we are investigating how the November test came back positive. DeAndre is committed to demonstrating that he did not knowingly take a banned substance. He has never once tested positive throughout his 10-year career. We’re currently testing every product he used to figure out how this could have happened and will release any new information as soon as we have it.”