The Arizona Cardinals welcomed back DeAndre Hopkins from a six-game suspension last Thursday night.
Kyler Murray wasted no time turning to his star receiver. The quarterback directed 14 of his 29 throws to Hopkins, who secured 10 of them for 103 yards in a 42-34 win over the New Orleans Saints.
During Wednesday’s press conference (h/t Pro Football Talk), Murray described how it felt to get Hopkins back on the field.
“I think having Hop back definitely helps,” Murray said in his press conference. “Just having him out there — his presence, his confidence, the ability, route running to catch the ball — all that stuff. More than anything, me and him are just comfortable together, and we’ve had those reps. I know where he’s going to be and what he’s gonna do. Same for him.”
Hopkins, who was suspended for violating the NFL’s PED policy, returned just as Arizona lost Marquise Brown to a fractured foot. Murray still expressed confidence in his pass-catchers while calling it a “necessity” to line up Hopkins in different formations.
“I know we have one of the best receiving corps in the league for the depth that we have,” Murray said. “The guys we’ve got in that room, the running backs, tight ends — I’m confident in everybody out there. The more we can move [Hopkins] around and make people worry about him, which is a given, other people are going to be open.”
Hopkins had as many catches and more receiving yards as the rest of his teammates (101) combined in Week 7. Yet Robbie Anderson played just 12 snaps three days after Arizona acquired him from the Carolina Panthers.
Murray is averaging 5.8 yards per pass attempt, the lowest mark of anyone who has started more than three games this season. Hopkins will hopefully help make some big plays, and Murray also hopes the three-time All-Pro makes life easier for Anderson and other Cardinals receivers.
The Cardinals will face the Minnesota Vikings this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.