The San Francisco 49ers clinched their game against the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night in Mexico City, 38-10, to capture their sixth win of the season. But his expected pummeling of a team without Kyler Murray under center wasn’t the biggest story of the night.
After the game, 49ers cornerback Charvarius Ward had some interesting things to say about Cardinals star receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
“D-Hop, he thinks he’s a tough guy,” he told Niners announcers Greg Papa and Tim Ryan via KNBR.com. “He thinks he’s still one of the best receivers in the league and he really isn’t.
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“He was getting locked up. He was doing some dirty stuff. He tried to cut me, he grabbed me by the neck. He grabbed my face mask in one play, so I don’t respect his game. That’s the guy on steroids.”
The “steroid kid” snub on Hopkins stems from the star receiver’s six-game suspension he had to serve at the start of this season due to violation of the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
Hopkins said in July that he didn’t think he should have been suspended after his blood tested positive for a small amount of Ostarine, a substance banned in the league.
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“I’ve never taken any of that,” the All-Pro wide receiver said in training camp. via Arizona Sports. “If you know what it’s about, it can be in the shampoo, it can be in a lot of different things. Obviously the NFL is very black and white, so of course I wish the rule wasn’t so black and white.” . . It is what it is.
“It’s hard to know when something is contaminated in trace amounts when you’re not working at the manufacturing company.”
As Hopkins said, the rule is the rule, so he served his suspension and returned in Week 7 against the New Orleans Saints, where he had 10 receptions for 103 yards on 14 Murray goals in a 42-34 win.
And while Colt McCoy started for the injured Murray on Monday night at Estado Azteca against San Francisco, he gave Hopkins 12 goals, hauling nine of them for 91 yards. However, he didn’t find the paint for the second straight game, as the 49ers played stingy defense that held the Cardinals to just their 10 points.
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But, when you look at the numbers closely, Hopkins had just two receptions for 14 yards in the second half, which is when San Francisco’s defense stepped up.
Ward was in coverage with Hopkins for most of the game, and struggled against him early on. He later cleaned up the act from him, hence the drop in production for Hopkins.
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If the NFC West rivalry between the two teams wasn’t enough, this comment from Ward is sure to make things interesting when these teams finish their 2022-23 regular season against each other in San Francisco on Jan. 8.