Arizona Cardinals three-time All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins has been suspended without pay for six games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
The league announced the suspension on Monday.
It’s a surprise blow for the Cardinals, who finished last season with an 11-6 record, but the stretch was cut short when Hopkins was dropped from the lineup due to injuries. Now they will be without the 29-year-old for a large part of the upcoming season.
Hopkins played 10 games last season, catching 42 passes for 572 yards and eight touchdowns. He missed much of the final part of the season due to hamstring and knee injuries – including the team’s playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
The Cardinals added a receiver during last week’s NFL draft, getting the Marquis Brown from the Ravens for a total of 23. Brown was a 1,000-yard receiver last season and college teammate with Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray when both were in Oklahoma.
Hopkins’ suspension means a bigger role for tight end Zach Ertz, along with Brown, veteran AJ Green and second-year standout Rondell Moore during the first six weeks of the season.
Hopkins has been one of the league’s most productive receivers during his nine-year career, which included six 1,000-yard seasons. He played his first seven seasons with the Texans before being traded to the Cardinals in 2020.
Hopkins is allowed to participate in the team’s preseason games.