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Kingsbury Updates Hopkins, Justin Murray Injuries

Arizona Cardinals offensive guard/tackle Justin Murray had a procedure done on his back this season.

The Arizona Cardinals had some noticeable holes in Monday night's season-ending loss, in part due to injury. 

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, cornerback Robert Alford and guard/tackle Justin Murray all had prominent roles when healthy this season. 

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury gave injury updates on all three during his Tuesday Zoom press conference. 

He said Hopkins would be fine in a month or so. There were reports that indicated he could make a playoffs return, but based on Kingsbury's update that seemed like wishful thinking.

Hopkins had surgery on his reported torn MCL after he injured his knee against the Rams in Week 14. 

He had an MRI, then a second opinion before Kingsbury said he believed surgery was the plan. Wide receiver A.J. Green also told reporters Hopkins was set to have a procedure. 

"It was impactful," Kingsbury said of the injury. "There's no doubt. I mean, he's one of the top players in the entire league in any position. Particularly in the red zone, I think you saw some struggles there."

Hopkins had eight touchdowns in 10 games in 2021, with seven from the red zone and the other from the 20-yard line. 

Kingsbury said Alford has a couple more months of rehab after he suffered a pectoral injury late in the season. 

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The head coach did not elaborate on Alford's specific injury, although it appeared he would be out for the playoffs regardless of how long Arizona survived. 

Alford missed the entire 2020 season due to a torn pec. 

He becomes a free agent on March 16 unless he signs a new contract before then with the Cardinals. 

Murray played in only three games in 2021 due to a back injury, and Kingsbury said the offensive lineman had a procedure. 

"I spoke to him that day, I think he's released fully February 28," Kingsbury said. "I think he'll have plenty of time to prepare for training camp."

Murray has one more year remaining on his contract. 

He took over as Arizona's starting right guard down the stretch last season and protected quarterback Kyler Murray well. He was a backup to Josh Jones at the start of this past season, but Jones eventually lost his starting spot to Max Garcia. 

Plus, Murray played at least 39% of offensive snaps during the first three games. 

The Cardinals' line struggled to run block and provide quarterback Kyler Murray time in the pocket on Monday. Justin Murray may not have made a night-and-day difference, but he would have been another option.