Larry Fitzgerald is sure Kyler Murray will be able to "lift" the Cardinals in the absence of DeAndre Hopkins.

Larry Fitzgerald is sure Kyler Murray will be able to “lift” the Cardinals in the absence of DeAndre Hopkins.

NFL NEWS

The Arizona Cardinals’ offseason was notable for quarterback Kyler Murray’s contract disputes and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins’ suspension for the first six games of the 2022 season.

However, the best Cardinal of all time, former wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, voiced faith that Murray would lead the Cardinals through the impending season’s turmoil.

Fitzgerald told MJ Acosta-Ruiz on Friday’s episode of NFL Total Access, “Obviously, the early-season schedule is extremely difficult, and I know they’ll be without Hop, but I’m confident that Kyler has the talent and the grit to carry this club.”

Fitzgerald, speaking from Nevada, where he is participating in the annual American Century Championship celebrity golf event, lauded his former quarterback and emphasized that despite Hopkins’ absence, the offense is in excellent hands and a good place.

Hopkins received a six-game suspension for breaching the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Meanwhile, Murray’s search for a contract extension has mostly taken place on social media.

Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald’s teammate in his final two seasons (2019 and 2020), said of Murray, “There’s nobody in the game with his athleticism and ability to throw the ball left or right.” “He is extremely talented. Everyone in the league must prepare differently for him. You bring in [Marquise Brown], and Zach Ertz, who is entering his second season, is now more acclimated to the scheme. James Conner is returning to the year in perfect health. I absolutely appreciate their placement.”

Still, the Cardinals finished 3-4 without Hopkins (due to injury) in 2021, and their first six opponents are the Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Seattle Seahawks.

Despite Hopkins’ upcoming absence, the Cardinals’ offensive pantry is far from bare with the return of Ertz and Conner, the addition of Brown, receivers Rondale Moore and A.J. Green, and rookie tight end Tre McBride.

Murray’s dual-threat ability and production substantiate Fitzgerald’s praise as more than just exaggeration.

According to NFL Research, Murray is the only player in NFL history with 70 passing touchdowns and 20 rushing touchdowns in his first three seasons. He also joins Cam Newton as one of only two players in NFL history to record 10,000 passing yards and over 1,500 rushing yards in his first three seasons. Two-time Pro Bowler Murray has accumulated 11,480 passing yards, 70 passing touchdowns, 1,786 running yards, and 20 rushing touchdowns.

Murray is not anticipated to play for Arizona without a new contract. Fitzgerald is sure that Murray will be available to keep the Cardinals flying high, despite the uncertainty of how this will all play out.