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The season is starting to wind down and the Arizona Cardinals now have to go the rest of the way without their No. 1 receiver, DeAndre Hopkins.
Announced Thursday via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the team is shutting down Hopkins after suffering an MCL injury during Monday’s showdown against the Los Angeles Rams. The Cards still sit atop the NFC West with a 10-3 record, ahead of the 9-4 Rams.
Rapoport announced, “Sources: #AZCardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins is having knee surgery on his torn MCL in the coming days and is headed to Injured Reserve. His regular season is over, but Hopkins has a chance to return if AZ advances deep in the playoffs. He’s looking at likely six weeks of recovery.” The team is still optimistic that Hopkins could return by the postseason in mid-January.
As the third overall seed in the NFC, the Cardinals’ prospects to make a deep run in the playoffs were once favorable. Still, without their star receiver, it’s hard to imagine that Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray will expect the same level of production once spearheaded by Hopkins.
With Andy Isabella, Christian Kirk and AJ Green also in the mix for Kingsbury’s Air Raid attack, and running back James Conner having a standout year, the Cards may survive at the top of the NFC West. However, longevity in the postseason is a different story.
The Cardinals can clinch their playoff spot with a win against the Detroit Lions this weekend.
Hopkins has 42 catches, 572 receiving yards and eight touchdowns this year.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela