HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – Bill O’Brien put any doubts in Houston football fans’ minds at ease on Monday as he announced that the Houston Texans will open their 2017 regular season at NRG Stadium.
There was not much doubt left that the game would remain at NRG Stadium after both Texans President Jamey Rootes and General Manager Rick Smith expressed confidence last week that the game would remain in Houston.
The only doubt that remained was whether the city would be prepared to host an NFL game if city resources would be needed for the continued recovery from Hurricane Harvey.
“Jamey Rootes spoke with (Houston) Mayor (Sylvester) Turner and (Harris County) Judge (Ed) Emmett – obviously Bob McNair involved with that – and everyone agrees that our game will not take resources away from other parts of the city and that this game will be an opportunity to continue to bring us all together as Houstonians and as Texans. So, this game will be played here,” Bill O’Brien said at his post practice media session Monday.
Last week O’Brien announced that the team would be dedicating the season to the City of Houston and its citizens after witnessing the devastation after the storm and flooding the conditions the city had to endure.
The Texans spent some time over the last several days visiting with evacuees in a variety of shelters throughout the Houston area. The players know that returning football to the city could help bring some sense of normalcy to those affected by the storm.
“In a big way,” DeAndre Hopkins said Monday when asked if a football game will help the city this week. “This is a football state. The state of Texas, in general, is a football state, so for us to go out there and get a win, I think that’s what this city needs.”
Several Texans echoed Hopkins thoughts.
“One of the most important things we can do for the city is win these games because they love football,” guard Xavier Su’a Fil-o In Houston, there’s a lot of professional sports but they love football and amongst doing things in the community, we’re always going to try to be winning our football games. It’d be huge for them.”
The Texans will be the third pro sports team in Houston to re-take the field in Houston after Hurricane Harvey. The Houston Astros swept a three game series over the weekend against the New York Mets at Minute Maid Park. The Houston Dynamo host the Colorado Rapids on Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Alex Del Barrio covers the Houston Texans for Sportsradio610.com and is the color commentator for the Houston Dynamo. He also hosts “ADB and Murph” with Matt Murphy which can be heard on Saturday afternoons 4-7 pm Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio