Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has been suspended six games for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing drugs policy. With the news breaking on Monday, it clarifies the Cardinals seemingly random decision to trade their first-round pick in the 2022 draft to the Baltimore Ravens last Thursday for wide receiver Marquise Brown.
Hopkins’ brand manager, Doug Sanders, texted a message to ESPN saying DeAndre and “everyone who works with him is shocked by this finding.”
“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 ever product he used to figure out how this could have happened and will release any new information as soon as we have it.”
DeAndre Hopkins’ brand manager, Doug Sanders, texted this tonight about his client, who was suspended six games earlier in the day: pic.twitter.com/gHlZMKrSQM
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 3, 2022
According to the NFL, Hopkins is eligible for all preseason practices and games, and will be allowed to return to the Cardinals’ active roster following their sixth game.
— Tyler Drake (@Tdrake4sports) May 2, 2022
Hopkins is suspended without pay and will forfeit $4.05 million in pay.
A five-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection, Hopkins turns 30 this coming season and is coming off an injury-plagued season. He played in 10 games, catching 10 passes for 572 yards and eight touchdowns.
When healthy, Hopkins can catch over 100 passes for 1,500+ yards and double-digit touchdowns.
It doesn’t appear that Hopkins and his representation will appeal the suspension, as they’ve used the careful language of “release any new information as soon as we have it.”
Hopkins also tweeted to fans, “See you week 7.”
“I was confused and shocked,” Hopkins tweeted. “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.”
See you Week 7. pic.twitter.com/rHTofEx7jK
— Deandre Hopkins (@DeAndreHopkins) May 3, 2022
If the Cardinals can play .500 or better through the first six weeks, adding a healthy Hopkins back should be a nice boost that can push them on a run toward the top of the division and maybe conference.
Last season the Cardinals began the season 7-0 before fading after injuries to franchise quarterback Kyler Murray and Hopkins. They ultimately held on to make the playoffs, losing in the wild card round to the eventual Super Bowl champions Los Angeles Rams.
The Cardinals also want to get the contract situation with Murray franchise squared away by the time the season begins. Murray and his agent have made it clear they want a commitment from the team. No Hopkins and constant speculation about Murray’s contract situation is not a recipe for success to begin the season.