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NFL Draft

Rondale Moore Could Shine Even Brighter Because Of DeAndre Hopkins Injury

  • The Draft Network
  • September 24, 2021
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The Arizona Cardinals will look to keep their perfect season rolling when they meet the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on Sunday for what should be a game featuring two teams headed in opposite directions.

The expected result would send the Cardinals to 3-0, giving them their best start since the 2015 campaign. While we understand the magnitude of this upcoming contest, what we don’t know is if star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins will suit up for Arizona. Hopkins will be a game-time decision, per head coach Kliff Kingsbury, as Hopkins continues to deal with an injury to his ribs.

Should Hopkins be unable to take the field, look for rookie starlet Rondale Moore to shine in an opportune role. The 5-foot-7 Moore is off to an electric start. Through two games, the lightning-quick talent has amassed 168 receiving yards on 11 receptions.

Moore's early-season production has hardly come as a surprise to those of us that watched him embarrass defenders on the collegiate stage. The former Purdue standout is thriving in an offense that includes off-script extraordinaire Kyler Murray at quarterback and Hopkins' dominant presence on the outside. Defensive coordinators are having a difficult time gathering their bearings when preparing for a Cardinals offense that has scored an astounding 72 points and moved the ball to the tune of 890 yards in two games.

Moore has quickly found his footing in the NFL, and his ability to hit the ground running is yet another example of how important it is for a rookie to land in the right environment. Moore is absolutely thriving in Kingsbury's scheme that spreads defenses thin on a week-by-week basis. Moore's ability to stretch the field and make defenders miss in space has added yet another exciting wrinkle to Kingsbury's offense.

Moore and the Cardinals will take on a Jaguars defense that will likely offer little resistance with or without Hopkins in the lineup. The Jaguars have allowed opposing offenses to score an average of 30 points per contest while looking rather lifeless in all three areas of the game.

Hopkins routinely serves as the No. 1 option in Arizona's offense, and rightfully so. Hopkins is arguably the best pass-catcher in the league and sees a commanding amount of targets on a weekly basis. Should Hopkins be forced to watch Sunday’s contest from the sidelines, it would free up a ton of touches in Arizona's high-octane offense. Look for Moore to be on the receiving end of several of those newly available opportunities.

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