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NFL legend Eric Dickerson reacted to the six-game suspension handed to Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy in an interview with Fox News Digital on Tuesday.
Dickerson, a Pro Football Hall of Famer who starred with the Los Angeles Rams and Indianapolis Colts in the 1980s and 1990s, said he didn’t think it was Hopkins’ character to take something against NFL rules.
Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins during the Houston Texans game at State Farm Stadium on Oct. 24, 2021, in Glendale, Arizona. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA Today Sports)
“It’s a different era than when I played. Like now, guys, they take stuff and they may not know what’s on the list of things you can’t take. Sometimes, it’s unintentional. I don’t really know DeAndre that well but knowing what I do know about him, that’s not his character. Like I said, a lot of things they could have on the list you don’t even know is on the list,” the former star running back said.
Dickerson told Fox News Digital it’s “almost unavoidable” to try to fully police what’s going into your body because not everything may be on the ingredient list.
“To be honest, it’s almost unavoidable. Everything that you read in the ingredients, they may have other ingredients they may not have on the list or that has a different reaction with your body. It’s really almost unavoidable. It could happen to any player,” he said.
In the 1984 season, he broke Earl Campbell’s record for most rushing yards in a single season with 2,105. The mark has never been touched. He released a book in January called “Watch My Smoke: The Eric Dickerson Story.”
Dickerson told Fox News Digital not having Hopkins will hurt him and the Cardinals in the long run.
Former Los Angeles Rams player Eric Dickerson before a Buccaneers game at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa, Florida. (Simon Bruty/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)
“I think it’ll hurt the Cardinals. First of all, he’s not getting paid. You’re not getting that paycheck. It hurts him and it hurts them too because timing is everything. You got to get the timing with the quarterback. You gotta get in shape,” he said.
“You cannot get into football shape working out. I don’t care what you do. It’s a totally different kind of game, using every muscle in your body. Stopping, starting, getting twisted. You can’t get into football shape. I’m thinking this is going to hurt him and will hurt the Cardinals.”
Hopkins said in a statement posted to Twitter Monday night he was “confused and shocked” by his positive performance-enhancing drug test.
“In my 10-year NFL career, I have never tested positive for using performance-enhancing drugs,” the statement read.
“To learn that my November test came back with trace elements of a banned substance, I was confused and shocked.
Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Houston Texans at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Oct. 24, 2021. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
“I am very mindful of what I put in my body and have always taken a holistic approach, so I am working with my team to investigate how this could’ve happened. But even as careful as I have been, clearly I wasn’t careful enough. For that I apologize to Cardinals fans, my teammates, and the entire Cardinals organization. I never want to let my team down.
“I fully intend to get to the bottom of this. As soon as I have more information I will share it.”
It’s unclear what he tested positive for. ESPN first reported the suspension.
“DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals has been suspended without pay for the first six games of the 2022 regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances,” an NFL spokesperson said in a statement obtained by Fox News Digital.
“Hopkins is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games. He will be allowed to return to the Cardinals’ active roster following the team’s sixth regular-season game.”