Larry Fitzgerald: Kyler Murray can carry the Cardinals during DeAndre Hopkins’ absence

NFL: JUN 02 Cardinals OTA
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All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins missed eight games last season, and the Cardinals went 3-5, including the wild-card playoff loss to the Rams. The Cardinals won’t have Hopkins for the first six games of this season after he violated the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Former Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, though, expresses confidence in Kyler Murray to step up and keep the team competitive the first six games.

“Obviously, the schedule’s really tough early in the season,” Fitzgerald told MJ Acosta-Ruiz of NFL Media. “I know they’re going to be without Hop, but I know Kyler has the ability and the fortitude to be able to lift this team up.”

The Cardinals play the Chiefs, Raiders, Rams, Panthers, Eagles and Seahawks in the games Hopkins will miss. Murray will have to make do with Marquise Brown, A.J. Green and Rondale Moore, among others, so he obviously is not devoid of talent at the position. Murray also has tight end Zach Ertz and running back James Conner to lean on.

“There’s nobody in the game as talented as, as diverse an array of abilities in terms of his athleticism, his ability to throw the ball going left or right,” Fitzgerald said of Murray, who were teammates in 2019-20. “He’s immensely talented. He’s a guy that everybody around the league has to prepare differently for. You bring in [Brown]; Zach Ertz is now coming into his second year; (and he’s) better acclimated with the system. James Conner is fully healthy going back into the year. I really like where they are positioned.”

Murray, though, wants a new deal, which is something to watch as training camp and the season opener draws ever closer. It’s doubtful the Cardinals would stay competitive without Hopkins AND Murray.

Murray is the only player in NFL history with 70 touchdown passes and 20 rushing touchdowns in his first three seasons, according to NFL Research. He joins Cam Newton as one of only two players in history to post 10,000-plus passing yards and more than 1,500 rushing yards in his first three seasons.

10 responses to “Larry Fitzgerald: Kyler Murray can carry the Cardinals during DeAndre Hopkins’ absence

  1. Yeah his stats and the Record WITHOUT say otherwise…

    The passing touchdowns per attempt dropped from 5.9% with Hopkins to 2.4% without him in December and January. That struggle continued in the red zone, as Kingsbury said. With Hopkins, Arizona’s red zone touchdown rate was 65.9%. Without him it dropped to 35.7%.

    Murray’s completion percentage was 71.6% with Hopkins and 63.1% without him. Arizona averaged 1.9 passing touchdowns per game with Hopkins and one without him.

  2. Pay the man his money. They should have paid Murray before Cleveland paid Watson but that ship has sailed.

  3. Fitz is just being his usual great-teammate classy guy.

    However, he cannot, or will not, explain Kyler’s failure and reluctance to throw the damn ball to him.

  4. The good news is the Cardinals do usually start well but going 3-5 without Hopkins last year is nothing to brag about and certainly not good enough to claim x can carry the team without Hopkins.

  5. A childish, unhappy QB with no leadership skills isn’t carrying anyone.

  6. Murray hasn’t showing he can carry anything, his body isn’t built to withstand 17 games, imagine what happens when they 18th game is added.

  7. Murray might be the most talented QB in the league. Questionable leadership? Maybe. But elite in talent. Pay the kid, Cards won’t find anyone better.

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