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Of Snap Counts And Grades: Packers Game

Hopkins limited to 15 snaps because of hamstring

With his hamstring injury, DeAndre Hopkins only played 15 snaps Thursday night against the Packers. His absence was noticeable, both with the impact he made when he was in there (a 55-yard catch early, that should have been a longer TD catch if Hop had just not closed his hand around the facemask of Packers cornerback Eric Stokes.)

So on such an up-and-down night from the offense, that Hop was also (by far) the best graded Cardinal on offense (78.8 by Pro Football Focus) was not ideal. The Cardinals did find rhythm without a lot of Hop in the second half; of course, if A.J. Green makes the touchdown catch on the last play, the discussion is much different.

With Hopkins ailing, the snap counts for the offense reflected it. Wide receiver Antoine Wesley got by far his most work of the year (31 snaps, or 53 percent) and he also got his first NFL catch, hauling in a seven-yard completion on a fourth down. Wide receiver Rondale Moore got 36 snaps -- about his normal work, while new tight end Zach Ertz was in for 43 snaps (73 percent).

The breakdown at running back was Chase Edmonds with 35 and James Conner 22, the latter of which still efficient as he got two more touchdowns.

Beyond Hopkins, the grades weren't gaudy. In the good range offensively were Ertz (70.2), Moore (68.7), Edmonds (68.5) and Kyler Murray (68.1).

Defensively, the grades were not surprisingly low. Linebacker Jordan Hicks scored an outstanding 84.5, but the only other defender with a good grade was linebacker Devon Kennard (75.1) and he only played 12 snaps.

With J.J. Watt out, Zach Allen -- in his first game back after missing two with Covid -- played a season-high 57 snaps (78 percent). So did Jordan Phillips (50 snaps) and Leki Fotu (37 snaps). Linebacker Chandler Jones, in his first game back after missing two with Covid, played 62 snaps, his highest total of the season.

WR DeAndre Hopkins straight-arms a Packer defender after the catch in a 2021 home game