The rookie who is only being depended on to instantly change the Houston Texans' offense is sidelined with a head injury. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins left the Texans' Saturday night preseason game with the Miami Dolphins after hitting the Reliant Stadium field hard, having suffered a concussion.
He went into the tunnel, gingerly touching the top of his head, flanked by medical personnel. He hit his head on the Texans' first offensive series when he tried to tackle Dolphins safety Chris Clemmons on an interception. Hopkins returned to play after that though — and it's unsure when the head injury actually occurred.
Hopkins — the real potential difference-making story of the Texans' preseason opener (Case Keenum only becomes a real factor if Matt Schaub gets hurt during the season) and the entire training camp for that matter — is already a crucial component of Houston's offensive plans for this season.
"He's fine," Texans veteran wide receiver Andre Johnson said after the game. "He got a zinger, but he's fine."
There is a long way between now and the Monday Night regular season opener in San Diego Sept. 9, but any injury to Hopkins rightfully brings major concern. Hopkins caught two passes for 22 yards before having to leave. He didn't have the WOW moment he did in Minnesota last weekend — in fact when Schaub missed him on a crossing route on the Texans' first drive Saturday night, it turned into an interception — but he did turn a short pass into a 9-yard gain.
Now he's likely to get some time off. It will be a surprise if Hopkins plays in the Texans' third preseason game against New Orleans next Sunday.