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DeAndre Hopkins suspended for six games for violating NFL’s PED policy

Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was suspended by the NFL. (Ralph Freso/AP)

The NFL suspended Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for six games for violating the league’s policy on banned performance-enhancing substances.

The league confirmed the suspension Monday through a statement by an NFL spokesman issued through the Cardinals. On Twitter on Monday night, Hopkins said his “November test came back with trace elements of a banned substance,” leaving him “confused and shocked.”

“I am very mindful of what I put in my body and have always taken a holistic approach, so I am working with my team to investigate how this could’ve happened,” he added. “But even as careful as I have been, clearly I wasn’t careful enough. For that, I apologize to Cardinals fans, my teammates, and the entire Cardinals organization. I never want to let my team down. I fully intend to get to the bottom of this.”

Hopkins will be eligible to participate in preseason games and practices, according to the NFL’s statement, then will serve the suspension during the first six games of the regular season.

Hopkins, who turns 30 next month, is a five-time Pro Bowl selection in nine NFL seasons for the Houston Texans and the Cardinals. He is coming off an injury-plagued 2021 season in which he had 42 catches for 572 yards and eight touchdowns in 10 games for the Cardinals. He was plagued by a hamstring injury and also underwent knee surgery in December for a torn medial collateral ligament.

Before last season, he had missed only two games in his NFL career.

Hopkins has 789 catches for 10,581 yards and 68 touchdowns in his NFL career. He had a string of four straight Pro Bowl selections ended last season. In his first season with the Cardinals in 2020 after being obtained in a trade with the Texans, Hopkins had 115 catches for 1,407 yards and six touchdowns.

The Cardinals traded for Baltimore Ravens wideout Marquise Brown during Thursday’s opening round of the draft. Brown, a 1,000-yard receiver last season, will reunite with Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, a college teammate at Oklahoma.

Wide receiver Christian Kirk left the Cardinals in free agency earlier in the offseason, landing with Jacksonville. The Cardinals reached the NFC playoffs last season but suffered an opening-round defeat to the Los Angeles Rams. They have had a tumultuous offseason that has included speculation about Murray’s status with the team being jeopardized by unhappiness about his contract situation. The Cardinals have vowed to retain Murray and attempt to address his contract.

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