DeAndre Hopkins Touches on MCL Rehab, Secrets to Catching, Kyler Murray’s Instagram

DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver has been a long-standing favorite. He dominates on a yearly basis and is constantly looking for new ways to add to his highlight reel.

Hopkins has been a key player in making Arizona a playoff-ready team since his arrival with the Cardinals before the 2020 season. 

Hopkins, who sustained a season-ending MCL injury during Week 14, was forced to sit out and was made a spectator for the final stretch. After a great start to the year, Hopkins was a disappointment. 

Hopkins, who will carry on his work rehabThrough the offseason, we caught up with Rich Gannon and Bruce Murray on SiriusXM NFL Radio during Super Bowl LVII week. We discussed everything, from Kyler Murray’s recent drama on social media to his recovery to Rich Gannon’s thoughts on the receivers who will be taking the stage on Sunday.

DeAndre Hopkins Talks MCL Rehab, Secrets To Catching, Kyler’s Instagram

“It’s new territory for me (with the) MCL injury,”Hopkins said this during the interview on Thursday.

“Something that I am not happy with, but it’s life. (Rehab) is going great, I’m actually ahead of schedule. (I) wish I could have helped the guys get to the Super Bowl this year; that was more hurtful than the injury itself (and) not playing.”

Hopkins, who missed three weeks because of a hamstring injury before his MCL tore, spoke out about how difficult was to miss a crucial stretch for the Cardinals.

He said, “That was probably one of the worst feelings I’ve had since playing in the NFL. Getting there, winning 10/11 games and basically knowing that your team needs you to get to where they need to get to and not being able to help, (I felt) helpless. Sometimes I didn’t want to be around the facility. I was like, ‘Man, I don’t know if I want to be around it’ because I care so much about it, and it’s hard.”

The Cardinals lost five of six games including the Wild Card matchup against the eventual NFC champion Los Angeles Rams. Due to their late-season collapse Arizona has been a topic of conversation. Many suggest that change is in the future. 

Hopkins offered his thoughts, though, much like everyone else in the Cardinals’ world, there isn’t a clear-cut way to move the Cardinals forward. 

“I don’t want to sit here and try to be like I know I got the answer for it, because I don’t. But I think what could help us get that next step is everybody being on the same page,”Hopkins.

Miscommunications were common throughout the team during the regular season, but they were less frequent between Kyler Murray and his receivers. 

Hopkins added, “It takes somebody to take over, it takes one person who’s going to be like, ‘Alright, we got to do this. This can not happen again . . . It’s just little things like that (miscommunications), those things that can’t happen over and over.” 

The conversation moved to Murray’s offfield persona, which was recently erased (at least on his Instagram). There are only two posts left, but there is no indication that Murray is affiliated with the Cardinals.

“The only thing I could think (is) he wants to show off some new outfits for this upcoming season, he didn’t want you guys to look at the old ones,”Hopkins laughed.

Although Hopkins was not able to provide any insider information on Murray’s future, he was able give tips to young receivers about how to catch the ball as he does. 

“I think that’s what separates good receivers from great receivers, and me watching football for awhile, I think how young receivers help that, besides getting a Jugs machine, is (hand) grippers,”Hopkins. 

“I tell all young receivers to get strong hands and to feel confident about catching the ball, strengthen your hands. The analogy I give everybody is, we work out every day and do biceps, but how many times do you work out your hands? That’s your job. Most receivers would be like, ‘We don’t’ so I implement certain things in the receivers room. I have a ball and I pass it around to everybody and I’ll be like, ‘Let’s do 100.’ Right before the Buffalo game I had a gripper, just because that’s my way of working out and activating my hand muscles. 

“It increases your confidence when you know your hands can hold their own.”

Hopkins said his glove size is small 5-XL, but his ability to come down with circus catches can be attributed to his diligent work with his grip strength.

“It’s evident in my hand size. However, I strengthen my hands each day. I drink my drink during the season, before and during the game, just as guys do to get ready for the game with Red Bull. My secret drink is my handgrippers.” said Hopkins.

Before Hopkins departed, he was asked to give quick thoughts on a few receivers playing in Super Bowl LVI.

Cooper Kupp: “Consistent. Smart. Can play in every system. Reliable.”

Odell Beckham Jr.: “Consistent. Sneaky speed. Slick. I would say he is among the top five hands in the NFL.”

Ja’Marr Chase: “He can be the best at it. He is a master of finesse. It’s not just a tenacity of “Oh, you’re going to overpower me”, but it’s a finesse match with his strength. That combination is rare. 

Hopkins will soon be back on the football field. This is a frightening sight for all defenders. The Cardinals are hopeful Hopkins will not be missed in their quest to make the playoffs next season. 

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