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Cardinals Searching For Wide Receiver Production Behind DeAndre Hopkins

Notes: Jordan Phillips out against Eagles; Justin Murray starts in New York

WR Larry Fitzgerald had only two catches for 10 yards against the Giants.
WR Larry Fitzgerald had only two catches for 10 yards against the Giants.

DeAndre Hopkins was back to form on Sunday, hauling in nine passes for 136 yards in the win against the Giants.

The All-Pro receiver is third in the NFL in receptions (94) and fifth in receiving yards (1,155), serving as both a big-play threat and security blanket for the Cardinals' offense.

While Hopkins is Kyler Murray's go-to target, the Cardinals have lacked consistent production from their other wideouts most of the year.

Christian Kirk was solid through Week 9, but he's averaged only 22.4 receiving yards per game over the past five, including three catches for 14 yards against New York.

Larry Fitzgerald had two catches for 10 yards against the Giants and KeeSean Johnson had one reception for nine yards, continuing their quiet seasons.

After two standout games in the first three weeks, Andy Isabella has been a non-factor the past two months, and he was a healthy scratch for the first time this season against the Giants.

"Bringing Fitz back (off the COVID-19 list), it really came down to that," coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "KeeSean had been playing at a high level, so we kept KeeSean up and brought Fitz back. That bumped Andy down."

Kirk is second on the team with 38 catches for 512 yards, which puts him on pace for a lower yards-per-game average (42.7) than in either of his first two seasons.

Running back Chase Edmonds is third on the team in receiving with 347 yards, and it is tight end Dan Arnold who has emerged the past two weeks as one of Murray's preferred targets.

Fitzgerald, who has 45 catches for 346 yards and no touchdowns this season, may not be the same player as in years past, but Kingsbury would like to see him become a bigger factor down the stretch.

"We'll continue to try to get him the ball more, because when he gets it, good things tend to happen for this offense," Kingsbury said.

JORDAN PHILLIPS OUT AGAINST EAGLES

Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips played only four snaps against the Giants before aggravating the hamstring injury which had previously sent him to injured reserve.

The Cardinals' big-ticket free agent signing won't play on Sunday against the Eagles, Kingsbury said. Phillips hasn't played a full game since Week 6.

"We definitely did not anticipate him getting hurt again," Kingsbury said. "It's unfortunate. He worked really hard to come back. He looked really good in practice. It was a long play with the turnover. Just unfortunate. He's a great person, been a great teammate. I know he's down that he won't be able to play this week."

JUSTIN MURRAY STARTS, PLAYS EVERY SNAP AGAINST GIANTS

Justin Murray has been a valuable fill-in for the Cardinals this season, starting at right tackle last season in place of the injured Marcus Gilbert and right guard this year for the injured J.R. Sweezy.

Now it seems like he may have a starting spot on merit. Murray started at right guard against the Giants ahead of Sweezy and played every snap. He moved over to the left side when Justin Pugh left with a calf injury.

"He's been a starter for us at another position, and we've always felt that he could slide in there and start at a high level, whether it was tackle or guard, regardless," Kingsbury said. "He was a guy who was on six or seven teams previous to us. Works his tail off. The guys in the room love him. They know what he's been through. So to see him get his opportunity and to continue to take advantage of them, as a coach it's really great to see."

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