The outlook for the Arizona Cardinals this coming season looks bleak.
Quarterback Kyler Murray suffered a torn ACL in December and is expected to miss a significant portion of the season, which will leave them without a captain to guide the ship.
Recently, they also released DeAndre Hopkins, who was arguably their most productive wide receiver in 2022.
Many predict the Cardinals will have one of the worst, if not the worst, record in the NFL in 2023.
Running back James Connor knows it will take an all-hands-on-deck attitude to replace Hopkins’ production.
Cardinals RB James Conner on departure of DeAndre Hopkins: ‘He was our brother and will continue to be. … I wish him the best, but someone has to step in’ https://t.co/xJ4bcae6rm pic.twitter.com/4OgJbeCK3A
— Around the NFL (@AroundTheNFL) June 4, 2023
Just a few years ago, Hopkins was one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, and he posted 1,407 yards and six touchdowns as recently as the 2020 season.
He has five Pro Bowl selections and three All-Pro first-team nods to his name, and although he’s nearing his 31st birthday, he should have plenty of football in his body.
Last season, he threw for 717 yards and three touchdowns in just nine games, mostly due to his early-season suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Much of the burden of replacing Hopkins will fall on wide Marquise Brown, who had 709 yards in 2022 a year after breaking the 1,000 yard mark for the first time.
New head coach Jonathan Gannon will have to find a way to get more production from others as well, including Connor.
The good news for Arizona is that they will not only have their own first-round pick next year, but also the Houston Texans, which means they could reload quickly next spring.
Cardinals reportedly upset with DeAndre Hopkins last season