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After Knee Injury, DeAndre Hopkins Will Be Ready For Training Camp

Wide receiver's role in practice could be altered with upcoming suspension

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins catches a pass during a recent OTA walkthrough.
Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins catches a pass during a recent OTA walkthrough.

DeAndre Hopkins turned 30 on Monday, and teammate J.J. Watt wasn't sure what to do about a gift.

"I'd offered to buy him some clothes but I can't afford to buy the (stuff) he wears," Watt said. "The guy is wearing stuff off the runway in Paris -- sorry.

"Also, I'd probably get him the wrong thing. Seeing some of his (social media) posts, I don't know fashion."

At least the Cardinals know that Hopkins will be wearing a jersey when training camp arrives. The veteran receiver, who was briefly outside at the outset of Monday's OTA talking with head athletic trainer Tom Reed, should be ready to do everything at the end of July after his knee injury and subsequent MCL surgery late last season.

"He's been moving around well and I think he's right on schedule," coach Kliff Kingsbury said after Mondays' practice. "He'll be full go for training camp.

"We've got to be smart how we ramp him up obviously, not playing in the first six games. We'll talk through that and make sure we have a really good plan."

Hopkins is suspended the first six regular-season games for violating the league's performance-enhancing drugs policy. But until the first week leading into the regular season, Hopkins is eligible to practice fully with the team and play in preseason games, if he and the team decide that makes sense.

Back in 2019 when cornerback Patrick Peterson faced a six-game suspension to begin the year, Kingsbury and staff used Peterson is his regular starting role for the first part of camp and then dialed it back, knowing others had to get the reps given how much they would have to play missing Peterson.

With Hopkins sidelined, newcomer Marquise Brown is expected to take over the No. 1 role in Hopkins'' absence, with A.J. Green and/or Antoine Wesley picking up the slack at the other outside spot. Rondale Moore is expected to take over in the slot for the departed Christian Kirk.

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