On September 24, Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury announced injury updates for their Week 3 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Star wideout DeAndre Hopkins was among those who are ruled a game-time decision. Hopkins is dealing with a ribs injury that has forced him to miss practice for the whole week.
Hopkins has only missed two games in his nine-year career and has a history of missing practice. Fortunately for Hopkins, he mostly finds a way to play on Sundays. At the same time, it comes as a shock that Hopkins could miss a game so early into the season. In Hopkins’ case, fellow wide receiver A.J. Green had a positive take on his absences.
“Hop don’t miss games, he’ll be fine,” said Green.
Kingsbury said the next 48 hours will be crucial for Hopkins to play on Sunday.
Cornerbacks Byron Murphy and Marco Wilson are all game-time decisions Sunday. But Kingsbury does feel good about Murphy, who participated in practice after having a bad ankle that forced his absence on September 23.
The full Cardinals injury report hasn’t been listed, but it will be posted in the story when it’s out.
It’s more than likely knowing Hopkins could tough it out and play on Sunday knowing his history. But still, these next 48 hours will be important for Hopkins according to Kingsbury.
“We’ll see. I think it’s a crucial next 48 hours and see how he feels Sunday. He’s a tough guy, obviously. We’ll see if he can go.”
If Hopkins were to miss Sunday’s game against the Jaguars, it would obviously be a huge blow to the offense. Hopkins caught four passes for 54 yards with a touchdown, playing 97 percent of the offensive snaps in the Cardinals’ 34-33 victory over the Vikings last week
But, Hopkins didn’t have a single catch in the second half. Players like A.J. Green, Christian Kirk and Rondale Moore will have to step up.
Kirk and Moore have already shown to be a tremendous tandem.
Kingsbury has loved using Moore in the offense, who leads the team in receptions and yards. This is despite being on the field below 50% of offensive snaps in two games.
“You see the dynamic; the stuff he can do in space,” Kingsbury said. “When he gets the ball that first guy rarely tackles him. He’s got legit 4.29 speed and he’s starting to build more confidence.”
WR Antoine Wesley was activated from the reserve/COVID list on September 22, so he could see some action along with Andy Isabella, who has yet to make a catch in 2021.
Rest of Injury News
There was better news on the injury front for the Cardinals corners. As mentioned in the beginning of this article, Byron Murphy participated in practice on September 24 after being out the day before due to a bad ankle. Marco Wilson is dealing with an ankle issue as well and both are deemed as game-time decisions.
As for the offensive line, fellow teammate D.J. Humphries is saying that right tackle Kelvin Beachum has a fractured rib.
Beachum toughened out and was back at practice on September 24.
The Cardinals have reached a 100% vaccination status according to Kingsbury. It’s been at 100% for a couple of weeks as well.
“It’s a positive,” Kingsbury said. “It’s still popping up even with vaccinated players, so we just all have to continue to take all the necessary precautions.”