No “Nuk” until the new year for Arizona.
The Cardinals are 3-4 over their last seven games and a once-commanding lead on the division and the No. 1 seed in the NFC have whittled dow Now, any hopes at a deep playoff run will have to come without star wideout DeAndre Hopkins, who is on the shelf for the remainder of the regular season and beyond.
Hopkins, the No. 1 receiver for Arizona and Kyler Murray, is limited to just 10 regular season games this year following injury: He caught 42 passes for 572 yards and eight touchdowns in 2021.
It’s not the same hamstring injury that had Hopkins shelved for three games earlier in the season, but it’ll keep him out a lot longer.
Here’s the latest on Hopkins’ injury:
How long is DeAndre Hopkins out?
In Week 14, Hopkins suffered an MCL injury that required surgery, keeping him out for the remainder of the regular season and potentially for the remainder of the 2021 season.
The Cardinals wide receiver, though, may make a return to the sidelines should the Cardinals make a deep playoff run: ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that should the Cardinals make it to the NFC championship game, Hopkins may be able to return. Any return prior to that is “unrealistic,” per Schefter’s sources.
That would put a target date of Jan. 30 for a potential return.
What is DeAndre Hopkins’ injury?
Hopkins suffered a torn MCL in the Cardinals’ Week 14 matchup with the Rams.
It’s unclear when exactly the injury occurred, but late in the fourth quarter, two Rams defenders landed on the outstretched leg of Hopkins. He took several moments to gather himself before limping off.
Pretty sure this is where Hopkins’ knee injury happened. Two Rams defenders landed on his leg, took some time to get up and was took some time to get to the sideline. (Unless it happened earlier and this just made it worse) https://t.co/GNf6b3bZIj pic.twitter.com/8VSqIc4SFv
— ✯✯✯✯✯ (@FTB_Vids_YT) December 15, 2021
While the injury was originally diagnosed as a “knee sprain,” it was later revealed that Hopkins suffered a torn MCL, though the severity (Grade 1, 2 or 3) is unknown.
The MCL is one of the major ligaments of the knee, and a tear (and subsequent surgery) will keep him out of action a minimum of six weeks.
Surgery was the only option that would fully stabilize the injured knee, which will keep him out until the playoffs, and late in the playoffs, at that.
DeAndre Hopkins injury timeline
Dec. 13: Late in the Week 14 matchup with the Rams, two Rams players land on Hopkins’ knee in the end zone. Hopkins limps off the field and tries to stretch out his knee on the sideline.
Dec. 14: Hopkins gets an MRI on the knee, according to head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Kingsbury adds that Hopkins is going to get a second opinion on the ailing knee.
Dec. 15: The injury, which was initially diagnosed as a knee sprain, will keep him out the remainder of the regular season, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Adam Schefter.
Dec. 16: NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Hopkins will undergo knee surgery, which has a six-week recovery timeframe. That will keep him out until late in the playoffs — should the Cardinals make it that far.