The Arizona Cardinals acquired wide receiver Robbie Anderson on Monday, a day after wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown suffered a foot injury that will sideline him indefinitely.
Brown suffered a potentially season-ending injury in Arizona’s 19-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Brown, who told reporters Sunday that X-rays on his foot were negative, underwent further testing Monday to determine the extent of the injury and will get a second opinion, a source told Schefter. Whether he can return this season will depend on the second opinion and his recovery, the source said.
Brown, who was acquired by the Cardinals from the Baltimore Ravens during this year’s NFL draft, has 43 receptions for 485 yards and three touchdowns in six games this season.
The Cardinals said in a statement that they acquired Anderson for undisclosed draft compensation. Sources told Schefter the Panthers will receive a 2024 sixth-round pick and a 2025 seventh-rounder.
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Coach Kliff Kingsbury said he believes trading for Anderson was a direct result of Brown’s injury.
“Had an opportunity to get a guy that brings some speed and that dynamic that Hollywood has,” Kingsbury said. “So, we’ll kind of see where he fits in, and just for the long term, with guys getting hurt, we need some more wideouts in here.”
Kingsbury said he wasn’t sure Monday how Anderson will fit into the Cardinals’ offense, but the ex-Panthers wideout and Brown are similar. Since 2019, Brown ran vertical routes on 39% of his snaps and Anderson ran them on 38%, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Anderson lined up wide on 72% of his snaps since 2019, and Brown lined up wide on 71% of his.
And their production was quite similar, as well: Brown has 25 more catches and 246 more receiving yards than Anderson, but both averaged 11.46 air yards per target.
“Just watching him over the years and studying his tape, he’s got a skill set that seems to be similar and he can really run, which we need that,” Kingsbury said of Anderson.
Brown’s injury wasn’t the only major one suffered by a Cardinals starter Sunday. Left guard Justin Pugh will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee, a source told ESPN. Pugh started all five of the games he played this season after restructuring the final year of his contract to return for the 2022 season. Pugh contemplated retirement after the season, but the former first-round pick out of Syracuse was given an opportunity to return for a 10th season and worked to get back in football shape.
The Anderson trade comes a day after he was kicked out of a game by Panthers interim coach Steve Wilks following sideline arguments with his position coach. Kingsbury, however, said Anderson’s confrontation did not affect the trade in any way.
Anderson didn’t have a catch Sunday. He entered the game with 13 catches for 206 yards — 75 of them on a touchdown in the opener against the Cleveland Browns on a pass from Baker Mayfield.
The Cardinals will take on Anderson’s $575,000 salary for the rest of the year, while the Panthers — who restructured his contract in March — will take a $20 million dead-cap hit spread across this season and next.
Cardinals wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson previously coached Anderson with the Jets. Their shared history was a point in favor of the trade.
“That played a role in it, there’s no question,” Kingsbury said. “Just having that insight and the success he had with Coach Jefferson as his coach, we felt really good about that relationship and what it could be here.”
Anderson joins a Cardinals team that fell to 2-4 with its loss Sunday. Star receiver DeAndre Hopkins is scheduled to return from a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs this week, and the team’s offense has struggled without him.
Hopkins’ role starting Thursday will change “somewhat” without Brown on the field. The Cardinals still want to move Hopkins around and line him up in different positions, Kingsbury said.
Hopkins, who hasn’t played since Week 14 of last season, when he suffered a knee injury, does not want to be on a snap count, but that hasn’t been ruled out.
“We’ll see how he’s going,” Kingsbury said. “But I know he’s anxious. He was up here today asking for the game plan and excited to get out there.”
The nine points the Cardinals scored Sunday were tied for the second fewest under Kingsbury. The Cardinals have yet to score 30 points this season and have reached 400 yards in a game just once. Quarterback Kyler Murray said after the game Sunday that Arizona’s offense hasn’t been this bad since his rookie year.
Kingsbury currently calls the plays on offense but said Monday he’d be open to changing that in order to win.
“You know, I’m open to anything that helps us win and score more points,” he said. “So we’re going to see where everything goes. But yeah, whatever it takes to win. I’m all for it.”
The Cardinals released kicker Matt Ammendola on Monday. He played the past two games in place of Matt Prater, who has been dealing with a hip injury. Ammendola missed a game-tying field goal in a Week 5 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and then missed an extra point Sunday.
Kingsbury opted to go for it on fourth down three times in field goal range in Seattle instead of taking the points, but the Cardinals failed to convert all three. But Kingsbury said Monday he didn’t lose faith in Ammendola.
“I think it’s having faith in your offense more than anything,” Kingsbury said. “Matt Prater is one of the best in NFL history. So, that’s kind of a different level, but the opportunities we had offensively I thought were there and weren’t able to make them at the time, but it was more that than any lack of faith.
“It was a Prater deal. Like we feel like he’s pretty much automatic and that’s a good luxury to have. When you don’t have it, it’s a little bit different.”
Prater’s status for Thursday night’s game against the Saints is undetermined, but Kingsbury said the Cardinals will bring in kickers to try out Monday and Tuesday.
ESPN’s David Newton contributed to this report.
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