Hopkins suspended six games for violating NFL’s PED policy

Arizona Cardinals three-time All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins has been suspended without pay for six games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

The league announced the suspension on Monday.

Hopkins withdrew an appeal, making the suspension official, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

It’s a stunning blow for the Cardinals, who finished with an 11-6 record last season but faded down the stretch when Hopkins was out of the lineup because of injuries. Now they’ll be without the 29-year-old for a big chunk of the upcoming season.

Hopkins played in 10 games last season, catching 42 passes for 572 yards and eight touchdowns. He missed much of the last half of the season — including the team’s playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams — because of hamstring and knee injuries.

The Cardinals added a receiver during last week’s NFL draft, acquiring Marquise Brown from the Ravens for the No. 23 overall pick. Brown was a 1,000-yard receiver last season and college teammates with Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray when the two were at Oklahoma.

Hopkins’ suspension likely means a bigger role for Brown, veteran A.J. Green and second-year standout Rondale Moore, along with tight end Zach Ertz, during the season’s first six weeks.

Hopkins has been one of the league’s most productive receivers during his nine-year career, which includes six 1,000-yard seasons. He played his first seven seasons with the Texans before being traded in 2020 to the Cardinals.

Hopkins is allowed to participate in the team’s preseason practices and games.

Also, per the league’s policy, Hopkins will still be permitted to participate in preseason practices and games. He also allowed to attend team meetings, meet individually with Kliff Kingsbury, as well as his offensive coordinator and position coach, and participate in individual workouts with the strength and conditioning coach.

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Reporting from Associated Press.

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