Rookie wideout DeAndre Hopkins of the Houston Texans has been cleared to practice after completing the last leg of the NFL’s concussion protocol. He sustained the concussion during a preseason game against the Miami Dolphins after landing hard on his head. No one is happier about Hopkins’ return than quarterback Matt Schaub.
As the 27th overall pick in the draft from Clemson University, Hopkins has high expectations. In 3 seasons at Clemson, Hopkins racked up 3,000 yards receiving with 27 touchdowns. He was drafted by Houston to complement star receiver Andre Johnson and is a considerable upgrade from Kevin Walter.
Head coach Gary Kubiak is expecting Hopkins to start the Texans Monday night regular season-opener against San Diego. Although he was stupendous in training camp, he’s seen little field action throughout the preseason due to the concussion.
For having such a dominant defense, the Texans did not have an offense to match during the 2012 season. They had a hard time scoring in the red-zone, partially because teams knew the ball was going to Andre Johnson or tight-end Owen Daniels. Hopkins doesn’t have the most overwhelming size, but he is extremely dextrous and quick, making him tough to cover in the red-zone.
Do not sleep on Hopkins. With team defenses focusing largely on Andre Johnson and running-back Arian Foster, Hopkins will draw single coverages against less talented cornerbacks to start the season. A trial by fire is not always handled well by rookies, but Hopkins should rise to the occasion and bring the Texans to a new competitive level.