Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins returned from the suspended list Monday and could be back on the field Thursday night when the New Orleans Saints roll into town.
And for 2-4 Arizona, the help couldn’t be more timely.
“He’s gonna be anxious to get the ball in his hands and be super competitive. We need him to lift us up, there’s no question, with how we’re playing right now,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said.
Hopkins also returns as the Cardinals lost top receiver Marquise Brown (foot) to injury and already were playing without running backs James Conner (ribs) and Darrel Williams (knee).
Brown was injured on the final play of the game in the loss to the Seahawks. He’s expected to miss six weeks with a small non-surgical fracture, NFL Network reported. The team feared Brown might miss the rest of the season.
The Cardinals also fear starting left guard Justin Pugh is done for the season with a knee injury suffered Sunday, according to NFL Network.
To fill Brown’s spot, the Cardinals acquired Robbie Anderson from the Carolina Panthers. Anderson was kicked out of the Panthers’ game with the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday by interim head coach Steve Wilks.
The Cardinals confirmed the deal Monday, adding the trade is contingent upon Anderson passing a physical. The Cardinals are sending Carolina a sixth-round pick in 2024 and a seventh-round pick in 2025, per ESPN.
The Cardinals officially added Hopkins to the active roster and released kicker Matt Ammendola.
Even with Anderson, Hopkins represents the potential cavalry amid a streak of three losses in four games and on the heels of producing only three field goals at Seattle in a 19-9 loss on Sunday.
Kyler Murray was sacked six times by the Seahawks, who entered the game ranked 32nd in scoring defense.
With Hopkins for 10 games last season, Murray was 8-2, completed 72 percent of his passes and had a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 19-9.
In 10 games without the five-time Pro Bowler since the start of the 2021 season, Murray is 3-7 with a completion percentage of 64 and an 11-6 TD-INT ratio.
Anderson, 29, did not have any catches in Sunday’s 24-10 loss to the Rams. Wilks sent him to the locker room late in the third quarter after Anderson got in a heated argument with position coach Joe Dailey.
“No one is bigger than the team,” Wilks said after the loss, which dropped Carolina to 1-5. “I’m not going to focus and put a lot of attention on one individual.”
Anderson has caught 13 of his 27 targets this season for 206 yards and one touchdown in six games. Over seven seasons with the New York Jets (2016-19) and Panthers, he has 368 receptions for 4,880 yards and 29 scores in 101 games (84 starts).
Pugh, 32, is in his sixth season in Arizona. He’s having additional testing done to ascertain the severity of his injury. He has started all but one of his 57 games with the Cardinals. Drafted No. 19 overall in 2013 by the New York Giants, Pugh has started 119 of 120 games in his 10-year career.
–Field Level Media