After leaping out to a 7-0 begin this season, the Cardinals stumbled down the stretch, dropping 4 of their final 5 video games to complete because the No. 5 seed within the NFC playoff bracket. Arizona might actually use some assist because it heads to Los Angeles to face a Rams group with Tremendous Bowl aspirations — and that assist might come within the type of two veteran gamers.
Cardinals large receiver DeAndre Hopkins and defensive lineman J.J. Watt have each missed vital parts of the 2021 common season with accidents, however there was hypothesis in regards to the stars returning to motion for Arizona’s wild-card matchup towards Los Angeles. Will they be capable to swimsuit up?
Listed here are the most recent updates on Hopkins and Watt forward of Monday’s recreation.
Will DeAndre Hopkins play vs. Rams?
Final Wednesday, Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury revealed Hopkins will not be available to return for the wild-card recreation. Hopkins suffered a torn MCL in Week 14, and the harm required surgical procedure.
Kingsbury’s announcement did not come as a lot of a shock. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported in mid-December that Hopkins “might be again” for the NFC championship recreation or Tremendous Bowl if the Cardinals had been capable of advance that far, but it surely was “unrealistic” to anticipate a return any sooner than these rounds.
In 10 regular-season video games, Hopkins had 42 receptions for 572 yards and eight touchdowns.
Will J.J. Watt play vs. Rams?
Watt, who appeared to endure a season-ending shoulder harm in Week 7, is anticipated to play in the wild-card recreation, according to Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer.
The Cardinals designated Watt to return from injured reserve on Jan. 7, opening the door for an unbelievable comeback. Whereas he hasn’t formally been cleared to play, Kingsbury told reporters on Saturday that Watt has “executed all the things humanly potential to place himself on this place.”
“I do know, if he has it his approach, he’ll be on the market,” Kingsbury mentioned. “However we have to be good, do the suitable factor and ensure it is proper for all events concerned.”
The previous Defensive Participant of the 12 months solely posted 16 complete tackles and one sack in seven video games this season earlier than present process surgical procedure to restore a dislocated shoulder, however he’s nonetheless able to creating issues for opposing offensive traces when wholesome.
Cardinals vs. Rams harm report
(Present as of 5:30 p.m. ET Saturday)