Report: Cardinals' DeAndre Hopkins Facing 6-Week Recovery from Surgery on Knee Injury

Adam WellsDecember 15, 2021

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

Two weeks after returning from a strained hamstring, Arizona Cardinals star DeAndre Hopkins is now dealing with a knee injury that will sideline him for the remainder of the regular season. 

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that Hopkins is facing a six-week recovery after he undergoes surgery to repair a torn MCL, which could allow Hopkins to return for the playoffs if Arizona can make a run.

ESPN's Adam Schefter and Jeremy Fowler first reported Wednesday Hopkins is nursing a sprained knee that could require surgery.

Hopkins missed three games because of the hamstring injury. He played 87 percent of the offensive snaps in Monday's loss to the Los Angeles Rams, his highest total since Week 6 (89 percent). 

The 29-year-old did appear to be favoring his leg late in the game against the Rams. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury told reporters that Hopkins was set to undergo an MRI. 

The Cardinals acquired Hopkins in a surprise trade with the Houston Texans after the 2019 season. He is part of a promising offensive nucleus that has Kyler Murray at quarterback, James Conner and Chase Edmonds at running back and A.J. Green and Christian Kirk at receiver. 

Things have worked out well so far, with Hopkins catching 115 passes for 1,407 yards and six touchdowns in 2020. However, the Cardinals missed the playoffs after finishing third in the NFC West with an 8-8 record.

The Cardinals are off to a fantastic 10-3 start this season, but Hopkins has yet to really take off. The five-time Pro Bowler has 572 yards on 42 receptions, though he does have eight touchdown catches in 10 games. 

Durability has never been a problem for the Clemson product before 2021. He only missed two regular-season games in the previous eight seasons combined. 

Losing Hopkins will hurt the offense's explosiveness, but it is well positioned with enough skill-player depth to keep operating at a high level until he returns. Green and Kirk will likely take over as Murray's favorite targets for the time being.