Houston Texans: The real reasons behind DeAndre Hopkins’ slow start
By Jair Lopez
Houston Texans All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins hasn’t taken off after a brilliant 2018 season.
The Houston Texans are off to a better start at 3-2 than last season at 2-3. However, DeAndre Hopkins has had a slow start by his standards after a hot start in 2018. Entering the 2019 season, head coach Bill O’Brien told the media that health was the ultimate factor for Hopkins moving forward.
Hopkins underwent surgery in the offseason to repair the damage that occurred on his shoulder after playing hurt towards the ends of the season with Will Fuller and Demaryius Thomas being ruled out for the playoffs. There was some expected rust as Hopkins worked his way back to 100 percent for the start of the season, but a rib injury in Week 2 threw a wrench to the beginning of his season.
Hopkins started Week 1 with eight receptions for 111 receiving yards and two touchdowns before being listed with a rib injury in Week 2. Since being listed on the injury report, Hopkins has not broken 100 yards, and it could be tied to the serious nature of a rib injury.
Despite his injury early in the season, he hasn’t missed a game and has 31 receptions, 347 receiving yards, and a pair of touchdown catches through five games. That production isn’t poor, but it was a slight regression from Hopkins’ production in 2018. Hopkins started last season with 39 receptions, 594 receiving yards, and two touchdown receptions in the first five games in 2018.
A combination of playing banged up and defensive game plans tailored to contain Hopkins could be playing a role in his lack of production. However, with the improved personnel on offense, the defenses will have to be honest and won’t only be game-planning to stop Hopkins as the season progresses.