The Arizona Cardinals received bad news following a second opinion on DeAndre Hopkins' knee injury.
The star receiver is going to have surgery on his injured knee and is headed to injured reserve, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday. He is expected to miss the rest of the regular season but has a chance to return if the Cardinals advance deep into the playoffs.
Hopkins suffered the injury late in the Cardinals' Monday night loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Following an MRI on Tuesday, Nuk sought a second opinion on the knee injury.
The receiver has an appointment Thursday with respected surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache, and surgery will be scheduled after the meeting. Surgery was the only option that would stabilize the badly torn MCL and ensure Hopkins could return in late January. He's looking at likely six weeks of recovery, per Rapoport.
Hopkins missed three games earlier this season due to a hamstring injury. He garnered his first double-digit target game of the season in Week 14, catching five of 13 passes for 54 yards. The Pro Bowler's 2021 campaign still does not include a 100-yard game.
Arizona will again lean more on veteran A.J. Green, speedster Christian Kirk and the shifty Rondale Moore with Hopkins on the shelf. The expected return of running back Chase Edmonds at some point could also help aid the Cardinals' offense.
The Cards sit at 10-3 and can clinch a playoff berth with a win over the 1-11-1 Detroit Lions. Arizona has a one-game lead over the Rams in the NFC West with games against the Lions, Colts, Cowboys and Seahawks remaining.