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DeAndre Hopkins, Whether Pro Bowl Or Practice, 'My Play Speaks For Itself'

Notes: Baker recalls scary phone call; receivers added to practice squad

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins makes a jump ball catch in coverage last weekend against the Eagles.
Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins makes a jump ball catch in coverage last weekend against the Eagles.

DeAndre Hopkins appreciates the "pat on the back" of the Pro Bowl.

But "personal accolades don't win championships," the wide receiver said, and he wants to collect a Super Bowl trophy with the Cardinals.  

He's contributed with his 103 receptions – second in the NFL with two games left – and league-leading 1,324 yards, along with six touchdowns and the NFL highlight of the year with his Hail Murray catch.

So perhaps it's not surprising that it doesn't sit well with Hopkins when the subject has been raised of late about practices he has missed. Most weeks, Hopkins does not practice Wednesdays, taking a vet's day along with others, like Larry Fitzgerald.

Hopkins said he does not watch or listen to the local sports stations or news, but his grandfather does, and keeps him informed when there are negative things said about Hopkins.

"For those people who don't understand football and just watch, there is a reason that I play football and they watch," Hopkins said. "I don't really listen to it. I just listen to my grandfather. And he was saying, 'Man, Arizona, they're really kind of on you right now because you're not practicing.' "

"But my grandfather knows who I am also, and he knows how productive I am on the football field and he knew what I was going through. The people who were giving me (criticisms) they don't know what I was going through or dealing with. I don't let my news or what is going on with me be publicized for the future. Next year, please tell your friends and all you guys on the local stations, if you've got anything negative to say about DeAndre Hopkins, I charge to come on shows, but I'll give a discount to come on shows for those people."

Hopkins grinned as he said the last part. Whatever time he has been on the field aside from game days, "my play speaks for itself," Hopkins noted.

He's even found a groove with Kyler Murray of late, with back-to-back 100-yard games and a showing against the Eagles where Murray was willing to throw Hopkins the ball in traffic and Hopkins was able to finish the play with a catch.

"I think my resumé speaks for itself and what I have done in the past," Hopkins said of Murray throwing him contested balls. "The quarterbacks Kyler has seen throwing to me while he was in college and the things he has seen me do when he was in college, I don't think I have to tell him that. I think he knows that.

"For me it's just going out and continuing to be consistent when he does throw me the ball and not let anything happen to it, interception-wise. Being consistent for him and keep building that trust."


Safety Budda Baker, like all the Cardinals' Pro Bowlers, got the news through a call from owner Michael Bidwill. Unfortunately, Baker was in the shower when Bidwill originally called.

"I looked at my phone and saw Michael Bidwill had called and I was like, 'Man, what did I do?' " Baker said. " 'I know I didn't do anything, I hope I don't have COVID, I don't know why he's (calling.)' He tells me (the Pro Bowl info), so it was definitely something like a ‘woosah’ moment."

Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said Baker still has room to improve as a safety, impressive considering Baker has yet to turn 25 and already has made two Pro Bowls at the position (and a third for special teams.)

Baker said on the field over the past six weeks or so, "it's been a lot of '32, 32. 32's the Mike, watch 32.' " Baker's uniform number is 32.

"I would definitely say a lot of teams are gameplanning me," Baker said.


The Cardinals had a bunch of players not practice Wednesday: Hopkins (non-injury related), wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (groin), running back Chase Edmonds (ankle/knee), tight end Darrell Daniels (hamstring), cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (hamstring/calf), tight end Maxx Williams (ankle), center Mason Cole (non-injury related), and linebacker Dennis Gardeck (knee).

While coach Kliff Kingsbury indicated earlier this week Gardeck would be a game-day decision, Joseph sounded more pessimistic when talking about Gardeck's excellent play, saying, "We're going to miss Dennis. For sure."

Limited for the Cardinals were linebacker Haason Reddick (shoulder), nose tackle Domata Peko (non-injury related), linebacker Kylie Fitts (hamstring), guard Justin Pugh (calf) and safety Jalen Thompson (ankle).

For the 49ers, defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw (knee), running back Raheem Mostert (ankle), quarterback Nick Mullens (elbow), cornerback Richard Sherman (calf), wide receiver Deebo Samuel (hamstring) and safety Jimmie Ward (concussion) didn't practice. Limited were defensive end Dion Jordan (knee), safety Tarvarius Moore (knee), center Hroniss Grasu (knee) and wide receiver Richie James (ankle).


The Cardinals signed a pair of practice squad receivers Wednesday, adding Krishawn Hogan and Isaac Whitney. Whitney was on the Buccaneers' practice squad earlier this week. Hogan is a familiar face, having signed with the Cards as an undrafted rookie in 2017. He has been with the Colts after the Cards let him go.

Images of the Cardinals cheerleaders during the Week 15 victory over Philadelphia at State Farm Stadium.