Can Cards Survive Without Hopkins?

The Cardinals have fared well through injuries this season — their first with 10-plus wins since 2015 — but now they’ll enter the stretch without their superstar wide receiver.

DeAndre Hopkins will miss the rest of the regular season after undergoing surgery for a sprained knee suffered against the Rams on Monday.

The expected recovery time is six weeks, which means the 29-year-old could possibly return in one scenario: if the 10-3 Cards make a deep playoff run.

He’s only played 10 games this season, but Hopkins’ impact has been undeniable.

  • His eight receiving TDs lead the team and rank fifth in the league.
  • He’s averaging the most YPG (57.2) on the team with the third-most receptions (42).
  • Last season, he was one of the league’s top WRs, catching 115 passes (2nd in the NFL) for 1,407 yards (3rd).
  • Including Week 8 — in which he played only 13 snaps — the Cardinals are 2-2 and averaging only 21.3 points per game when Hopkins doesn’t play. Their season average is 28.2.

The injuries are only a recent concern for “Nuk” — he missed only two games in his first eight seasons, but is on pace to miss seven this year.

Hopkins’ five-year, $81 million contract with Houston signed in 2017 extends through next season. His two-year, $54.5 million extension with Arizona begins in 2023.

The Cards lead the Rams by a game in the NFC West, hold the 3-seed in the playoff picture, and have the seventh-easiest remaining schedule.