HOUSTON (CBS Radio) – The status of receiver DeAndre Hopkins is still unknown for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as he continues to go through the NFL’s concussion protocol.
“He came in the day after the game (against Carolina), and he had symptoms of a concussion,” Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said. “So, he’s going through the protocol. We’ll see how it is tomorrow, but again, he has to pass the concussion test in order to play. But I was told he feels and looks pretty good today.”
O’Brien said Hopkins wasn’t inside but actually out at practice on Thursday and saw that as a good sign. However, if Hopkins can’t go on Sunday, O’Brien feels good about the others in his receiving corp.
“Again, it’ll be that whole philosophy, which is the philosophy of really the whole league – it’s the next guy up,” O’Brien said. “I would say in that position there you’ve obviously got Nate (Washington), Cecil (Shorts III), then you have Keith Mumphery, Chandler Worthy will be up for the game and possibly Jaelen Strong.
“All of those guys have had a good couple days of practice this year,” O’Brien said. “Like I said, Hops was feeling better today so hopefully he’ll be ready to go, but we won’t know that until probably later in the week, and we just go with the next guys.”
Nate Washington and Cecil Shorts, both free agents who were acquired by the Texans this past offseason, have combined for 19 catches and 259 yards (no touchdowns) through the first two games of the season. Washington leads the team with 168 receiving yards. Hopkins’ 14 catches leads the team and he has 151 yards and two touchdowns. If he can’t play on Sunday, the other receivers will be prepared to step up.
“God willing, he can go, first of all,” Shorts said. “But if he is limited or can’t go, next man up. It’s part of the NFL. Guys get hurt. Guys get injured. We have a good core group here. We have some guys that played a long time, played a lot of games. We got some younger guys. We got to go in and play the game and get the job done.”
“The show must go on,” Washington said. “I’m very confident in his toughness. I’m very confident in him preparing himself to try to give everything that he can for Sunday, but if anything does happen, the show must go on. We have to carry him. We’ll go out there and continue to make plays.”
A big part of their success is continued work and chemistry Ryan Mallett, who was named the starter in place of Brian Hoyer in the second game of the season against the Panthers.
“We had a good practice today, so it’s continuing to work with him, get our timing down, get on the same page, be where he wants us to be in certain routes, certain situations, and certain coverages,” Shorts said. “(Offensive Coordinator) Coach (George) Godsey says it all the time, just seeing everything through the same pair of glasses. Understanding where we got to be and I think we’ll be alright.”