PHOENIX — Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Deandre Hopkins leads the NFL in receiving yards, was just named to the Pro Bowl, and has made plenty of highlight-reel catches throughout the 2020 season.
Despite that, Hopkins has taken criticism from many bloggers and sports websites for missing several practices throughout the year. Yes... we're talking practice.
“I heard a lot of negativity about me not practicing when I first came to Arizona,” Hopkins said Wednesday. “I don’t watch the Arizona local news channels and sports stations but my grandfather, he’s an avid listener to everything and every single one. I think if one of you guys say something bad about me, my grandfather, he’s told me.”
Hopkins has 1,324 receiving yards to go along with 6 touchdowns so far this season. With two games left on the regular-season schedule, there’s a good chance Hopkins will set a new career-high in receiving yards.
“For those people who don’t understand football, who just watch, there’s a reason why I play football and they watch,” Hopkins added.
Though he hasn’t missed any playing time, according to data from ESPN, Hopkins has missed 18 of the Cardinals 41 practices so far this season. Ten of those have been optional days off for veteran players.
“My grandfather knows who I am also, and he knows how productive I am on that football field,” Hopkins said. “And he knew what I was going through. The people who were giving me stuff don’t know what I was going through.”
The Cardinals sit at 8-6 with two regular-season games remaining against the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams.
As the Cardinals battle to keep themselves in a playoff spot, whatever routine Hopkins is doing to keep his body healthy and ready for game day, fans should hope he keeps it up.
“Tell those people who said I don’t practice, come watch me play the game,” Hopkins said.