Potential future Hall of Famer A.J. Green and tantalizing prospect Rondale Moore are certainly welcome additions to the Arizona Cardinals‘ receiving corps. However, such moves become far less appealing if Deandre Hopkins isn’t in Glendale to head the Kyler Murray-led passing game.
On Thursday, much to the dismay of the Red Sea and fantasy football owners alike, the five-time Pro Bowler insinuated that such an outcome may be on the table.
In a since-deleted tweet captured by Ari Meirov of My Sports Update, Hopkins claimed that he’s begun to “question” his future in the NFL.
Update: It looks as if clearer minds have prevailed, as Hopkins has since changed his tune on potentially stepping away from the gridiron.
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NFL’s New COVID Policy & Hopkins’ Explanation
The wideout’s take comes on the heels of a league-wide memo sent out to NFL clubs detailing consequences for teams that have COVID outbreaks amongst unvaccinated players — namely, the fact that teams may be forced to forfeit games if they are unable to reschedule during the 18-week regular season.
“We do not anticipate adding a ’19th week’ to accommodate games that cannot be rescheduled within the current 18 weeks of the regular season,” the memo states, via NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. “If a game is canceled/postponed because a club cannot play due to a Covid spike among or resulting from its non-vaccinated players/staff, then the burden of the cancellation or delay will fall on the club experiencing the Covid infection. We will seek to minimize the burden on the opposing club or clubs. If a club cannot play due to a Covid spike in vaccinated individuals, we will attempt to minimize the competitive and economic burden on both participating teams.”
Hopkins further elaborated why he’s seemingly opposed to the vaccine. During a back and forth with Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey over Twitter, the 29-year-old detailed a situation involving his girlfriend’s brother.
Ramsey Tweeted, “I know 2 people right now who got the vaccine but are covid positive… I’m just saying. I wouldn’t look at a teammate as bad if he don’t get the vax, no pressure from [No.] 5.”
In response, Hopkins stated “My girlfriend’s brother in the military got the vaccine and had heart problems right after. When they stand for something they hate you.”
There was also this little tidbit:
The NFL World Reacts to Hopkins
As you could expect, when what many would consider the cream of the crop at the receiver position speaks, it’s going to draw a reaction. Shortly after Hopkins’ tweet, Twitter was quickly bombarded with hot takes on the situation. And while in this case, the majority of the internet seemed to oppose Hopkins, fellow NFLers were far more receptive to his thoughts, with a few echoing similar concerns.
For what it’s worth, similar to last season, players were allowed to opt out of the 2021 NFL season. However, that deadline has since passed.
“The deadline for players to opt-out of 2021 was July 2, by the way,” Buffalo Bills sideline reporter Sal Capaccio tweeted. “They can no longer choose to opt-out. They can retire, or just not show up and be extremely heavily fined along with all sorts of other financial ramifications. But they can’t opt-out and have their contract toll.”