Tom Savage will make the first start of his NFL career Saturday night against the Bengals at NRG Stadium. The third year pro has only thrown 55 passes in the NFL, but while he and his number one pass-catcher have very little game time together, they are very familiar with each other.
“I’ve been working with Tom since he’s been here,” Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins said after Thursday’s practice.
Saturday will be Savage’s 31st game on the Texans active roster, and Hopkins says that while he hasn’t started any of those games, it’s not like he’s been sitting around just watching everyone else.
“Tom’s a pro’s-pro,” he said. “He prepped everyday like he was a starter when he wasn’t starting.”
Hopkins caught eight passes for 87 yards in the Texans 21-20 win over Jacksonville last week in his most productive game since a week two win over Kansas City. All of his catches came when Savage replaced Brock Osweiler. One reason the two were able connect was Savage’s arm strength, which Texans coach Bill O’Brien called a “cannon”.
“We knew that from the day he came in, how strong he can throw,” Hopkins said.
On Saturday, the Texans will have the opportunity to clinch the AFC South Division title if Jacksonville can beat Tennessee. For that to happen, the team will need Savage and Hopkins to be as productive as they were against the Jaguars.