Kliff Kingsbury: We wanted DeAndre Hopkins to stay off the field, but he’d just run on

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Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins left Thursday night’s game with a hamstring injury after a 55-yard catch in the first quarter and the Cardinals did not plan on putting him back into the game.

Hopkins had other plans, however. He returned to the game in the third quarter and played a handful of snaps, including the final one for the Cardinals, in the 24-21 loss. After the game, head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Hopkins is as “competitive as anybody I’ve been around, and he ended up making some plays” while adding that the team was trying to take the long view by keeping him off the field.

“We wanted him to stay off the field but he’d just run on,” Kingsbury said, via Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com. “He wants to play, super competitive and made some plays there, and we just want him to be smart, but he was definitely hurting.”

The Cardinals will get an extended break before facing the 49ers in Week Nine and they’ll hope that’s enough for Hopkins to get back to full speed.