Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury revealed he didn't plan to play DeAndre Hopkins after he aggravated the hamstring injury that kept him out of practice the entire week but the wide receiver checked himself into the game.
"We wanted him to stay off the field but he'd just run on," Kingsbury said. "He wants to play, super competitive and made some plays there, and we just want him to be smart, but he was definitely hurting."
Hopkins made some plays after returning to the field but that was not enough as the Cardinals suffered their first loss of the season as the Green Bay Packers claimed a 24-21 win on Thursday Night Football. "He wants to be out there," Kingsbury said.
"He's competitive as anybody I've been around, and he ended up making some plays. But, we also have a lot of games left so we're trying to be smart with him."
Kyler Murray didn't target Hopkins on the crucial play
On a second-and-goal with 12 seconds left to play, Cardinals quarterback Murray targeted A.J.
Green in the end zone but his pass got intercepted by Packers cornerback Rasul Douglas. "I honestly don't know," Murray said about what happened on the play. However, Kingsbury said it was an audible. Arizona got the one-on-one look with Green, who was the lone receiver split wide, that it wanted.
The Packers were hampered by injuries in the secondary so they signed Douglas from the Cardinals' practice squad. "You're in a crazy mental state being in the league five years, never been on a practice squad before, and then one day you're just on a practice squad," Douglas said.
"You feel like you're working for nothing, kinda. And then you get a call and you're somewhere else, and you're just playing. So I'm just thankful. "That was probably the first time I've won a game like that.
So it was like a shocking feeling, like, 'Oh snap, we just won off that play.' I was like kinda surprised." The Packers were without three wide receivers but still managed to win the game. "Our guys believed, no doubt about it," Packers coach Matt LaFleur said.
"I know we were without, you could argue, three of our top receivers. We were without our defensive coordinator. I just think these guys always believe going into every game. That's pretty powerful. I don't think anybody within our staff or our players didn't believe we could come into this environment and come away with a win."