Kingsbury ‘not sure’ if DeAndre Hopkins, J.J. Watt will return for playoffs

Arizona Cardinals stars DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt are both on injured reserve, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury doesn’t see that changing any time soon.

“I’m not sure either one will make it back,” Kingsbury said Saturday, via ESPN’s Ed Werder. “I think it will be close.”

Hopkins, 29, was acquired from the Houston Texans in a 2020 trade and finished his first season with the Cardinals with 115 receptions and 1,407 yards. Production in his second season in Arizona dropped off, however, as Hopkins struggled through hamstring problems before tearing his MCL in a Week 14 game. According to Ian Rapoport, he underwent surgery and hoped for a late January return.

Watt, 32, is in his first season with the Cardinals after joining Arizona as a free agent in the offseason. In October he suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery to repair, and Kingsbury left the door open for a possible return.

The Cardinals have stumbled through the back half of their regular-season slate and enter Week 17 on a three-game losing streak. While Arizona has clinched a spot in the playoffs, the Los Angeles Rams have taken over first place in the NFC West and would clinch the division with a win over the Ravens if the Cardinals lose to the Cowboys on Sunday.

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