HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) — When T.J. Yates takes the field for the Houston Texans this week, he’ll become the third starting quarterback DeAndre Hopkins has played with this season.
At this point, he’s used to it.
In fact, he likes the way that he’s been able to stay productive despite a rotating door at the game’s most important position.
“It’s challenge for me, to go out and be able to play with a quarterback who hasn’t played with us often,” Hopkins said. “Just to show the world that you don’t need a Pro Bowl quarterback to get the job done. So for me, it’s a challenge, and I love it.”
Hopkins, 25, is in the midst of a career year this season: 88 catches, 1233 yards and 11 touchdowns, through only 13 games.
Yet, Hopkins hasn’t had the luxury that many of his contemporaries enjoy: consistency at quarterback.
To give you an idea: since Hopkins entered the NFL in 2013, Antonio Brown has played with only three starting quarterbacks: Ben Roethlisberger, Michael Vick and Landry Jones.
Over the span, Hopkins has played with nine: Matt Schaub, Case Keenum, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett, Brian Hoyer, Brandon Weeden, Yates, Brock Osweiler, Tom Savage and Deshaun Watson.
He’s also had only one season where he hasn’t played with three different starting quarterbacks: 2016, when he had two.
“It’s not easy, but that’s how I was raised,” Hopkins said. “To work, come out and don’t make any excuses, no matter who’s throwing you the ball.”
Hopkins, who signed the richest contract for a wide receiver in NFL history this offseason, has seemingly only once been affected by his quarterback — last season, as Osweiler became one of the biggest free agent busts ever. Still, Hopkins had 78 catches, 954 yards and four touchdowns, numbers comparable to what Adam Thielen is doing this season for the Minnesota Vikings, in a breakout year.
Hopkins said he takes great pride in that.
“You see other guys, statistically, when their quarterback goes down, whatever they’re doing, their stats go down,” Hopkins said. “But I can’t be that guy, I’ve had to play with multiple quarterbacks my whole career, so i know how to adjust on the fly.”