Toward the end of the Cardinals-Rams game Monday night, the Rams had a couple opportunities to end the game with an interception, including one really groan-inducing drop. Cardinals fans wish they'd got that interception, since after that play, both DeAndre Hopkins and James Conner got shaken up.
Sounds like Conner is OK (being called day-to-day with an ankle injury), but Hopkins is not. He suffered a sprained knee on the final series. Initial report is that he'll be out for the rest of the regular season (so let's say a 4-week injury), but the team either thinks (or hopes) he'll return for the playoffs.
It's a significant blow to the Cardinals, of course, since Hopkins is far and away their No. 1 wideout. Others will need to pick up the slack, notably Christian Kirk, A.J. Green and Rondale Moore.
Helpfully, we have three other games this season that Hopkins missed, plus a fourth where he played just a quarter of the snaps. How did those wide receivers fare in those games? Here are the numbers. (Note that Kyler Murray also missed three of those games, so the information isn't a perfect apples-to-apples comparison -- Colt McCoy might have had a better rapport with one of those players than Murray. But this is what we've got.)
Table sorted by receptions in each game.
|ARIZONA WRS, NO HOPKINS|
So this, I think, is a Christian Kirk item -- he had 2 of the top 3 and 3 of the top 6 games by those wideouts with Hopkins sidelined. McCoy at quarterback for most of those, but I think Kirk is the guy to look for on waivers if you can get him. But Green (who had a big game against the Rams) and Moore also get a boost.
Sharp eyes will note that none of those guys got any touchdowns in those games. Zach Ertz caught 2, and James Conner caught 1. But Murray's a lot better than McCoy, and Kirk caught 4 TDs in the first seven games. Looks like a viable fill-in.