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Murray, Hopkins Together Again on Practice Field

Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins returned to practice for the first time since the week of the Oct. 24 game against Houston.

The Cardinals injury report Wednesday for their first practice after the team’s bye sure looks a lot different than it did two weeks ago on the Wednesday prior to the Week 11 game against Seattle.

That day, there were six players that did not practice because of injuries and eight that were limited.

On this day, four days before playing the Chicago Bears, there is only player that failed to practice because of an injury and only three that were limited.

The lone injured non-participant is left guard Justin Pugh, who is still dealing with a calf injury suffered on the ninth snap of the Week 9 game at San Francisco.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Pugh’s availability will be a game-day decision and added, “He's feeling better and he's progressed, but he's not out there yet practicing so we'll see how that goes.”

Limited were quarterback Kyler Murray, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and safety James Wiggins. The latter has been inactive for the last three games and hadn’t practiced at all during those weeks.

Guard Max Garcia, who has been bothered by an Achilles injury, practiced full and was listed with a knee injury. Center Rodney Hudson and tackle Kelvin Beachum had veteran rest days and did not practice.

Because Hopkins is dealing with a hamstring injury, Kingsbury was asked if cold, windy and rainy weather in Chicago could affect his playing status.

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Kingsbury said, “I don't think weather as much as just the time he's been off task. We just got to be smart with how we use him if he's able to go. Maximize him as best we can, but make sure we don't wear him out.”

Asked if an 80% Hopkins is better than most NFL receivers, the head coach said he probably is and noted, “He was out there against Green Bay running around on one leg making catches. So I think he's a special talent. And if he can go, he'll give us what he's got.”

Murray and Hopkins haven’t played since that Oct. 28 game against the Packers, but Kingsbury said ramping up for the opening of the regular season can be similar to missing time during the season, although they haven’t been practicing.

“Obviously, the regular season moves around quicker and it's a bit more intense, but these guys have played a lot of football,” Kingsbury said. “And so I don't expect there to be some long drawn out kind of recovery period for them to get acclimated and playing at a high level again."

One other injury update was provided about linebacker Tanner Vallejo, who was placed on reserve/injured Nov. 20 with a knee injury. When he was sidelined, there was no prognosis revealed, but Kingsbury said the injury was not season ending.

“I think we'll have him back before the end of the season,” he said. “I'd say hopefully three more weeks.”

The Bears, who played in Week 12 on Thanksgiving, list eight players as not practicing Wednesday: Defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. (ribs), wide receivers Allen Robinson II (hamstring) and Marquise Goodwin (foot/ribs), defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (ankle), linebackers Roquan Smith (hamstring) and Sam Kamara (concussion), tight end Cole Kmet (groin) and running back Damien Williams (calf).

Quarterback Justin Fields (ribs) was limited, while safety Tashaun Gipson Sr. (chest) had full participation.