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Cardinals' DeAndre Hopkins Wishes NFL's PED Rule Wasn't 'So Black and White'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJuly 31, 2022

Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

The Arizona Cardinals will be without DeAndre Hopkins for the first six games of the 2022 season because he is suspended for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy, but the wide receiver wishes there was more room for nuance in the rules.

He said he has never willingly broken any rules even after 0.134% Ostarine was found in his blood, surpassing the threshold of 0.100%.

"I've never taken any of that kind of stuff," Hopkins told reporters. "If you know about what it is, it can be in shampoo, it can be in a lot of different things. Obviously the NFL is very black and white, so of course, I wish the rule wasn't so black and white. It is what it is.

"It's hard to know when something gets contaminated at a trace amount when you're not working at the manufacturing company."

Hopkins dropped his appeal and will serve the suspension.

"It's hard to know what you can eat, what you can do when you're not in control of manufacturing anything or what goes through a conveyor belt, you know what I'm saying?" he continued. "So, obviously, I do think that rules should change. But like I said, that stuff, it'll work itself out, and I've never taken anything. I barely take vitamins."

The suspension means the Cardinals will be without their top pass-catcher for matchups against the Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks.

The bad news is there are presumed Super Bowl contenders in the Rams and Chiefs and likely playoff contenders in the Raiders and Eagles. Playing well in that stretch without Hopkins will be difficult, although the good news is only two of the team's six division games come during his suspension.

Hopkins will have an opportunity to help Arizona make up ground in the NFC West when he returns.

While a knee injury limited the five-time Pro Bowler to just 10 games last year, his last healthy season in 2020 saw him tally 115 catches for 1,407 yards and six touchdowns. It marked his fourth straight campaign with more than 1,100 receiving yards.

Arizona's offense will surely take a step back while he is sidelined, especially since it also lost Christian Kirk to free agency, unless Rondale Moore, Marquise Brown and A.J. Green drastically elevate their own production.

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