After starting the 2021 NFL season in superb form, the optimism around the Arizona Cardinals quickly dwindled with a poor finish to the campaign, followed by a six-match suspension to star receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
Hopkins was handed the ban after the NFL announced he violated the league's performance-enhancing drug policy on May 2.
Following his positive test, the 29-year-old took to Twitter to state he was "confused and shocked" about the suspension.
"In my 10-year NFL career, I have never tested positive for using performance enhancing drugs," Hopkins' statement read.
"To learn that my November test came back with trace elements of a banned substance, I was confused and shocked.
"I am very mindful of what I put it 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."
Hopkins' absence will be a blow to the Cardinals' start of the 2022 season, but franchise legend Larry Fitzgerald has rallied behind the wide receiver to bounce back from the suspension and continue to build an impressive legacy in the NFL.
When asked if the suspension will taint Hopkins' resume, Fitzgerald said "I don't think so.
"He'll still be a Hall of Famer. He's talented. He'll work through it. It's just some adversity and, you know, he's a tough guy, resourceful, and he'll work his way through it."
Fitzgerald has a point too, Hopkins' numbers definitely support the claim that he'll one day end up in the Hall of Fame.
So far in his career he's produced 789 receptions (36th all time), 10,581 yards receiving (42nd), and 68 touchdown catches (T50th).
Of course the suspension will slow down the Cardinals' play-off push at the start of the upcoming season, but with Kyler Murray, Marquise Brown and A.J. Green in their offence, they can still piece together a strong start.