The fourth preseason game — or “the second-string starters” game — against the Dallas Cowboys could provide an opportunity for the Texans to get a little more experience for DeAndre Hopkins, and will definitely provide some much-needed playing time for DeVier Posey.
Posey, who ruptured his Achilles tendon during the Texans’ 41-28 loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC divisional round last season, is now confirmed to at least play a few snaps in the Thursday night game.
“He needs to just get out there and get his feet wet, so he’ll probably play about 12 plays,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Tuesday at a team luncheon at a Galleria-hotel. “He’ll get hit, get tackled and all that confidence he’s been working on, just make sure he’s ready to go. But he’s good.”
Hopkins has seen some action in the preseason already, and has really impressed not only his own coaches, but players and coaches around the league in his limited playing time. In two preseason games, Hopkins has six receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown.
Hopkins received a concussion in the Texans’ second preseason game, which was against the Miami Dolphins. He missed the Texans’ game against the New Orleans Saints last week, and is currently reported to be in stage four of five in the NFL’s concussion protocol. According to Kubiak, his return could be imminent if he passes all the concussion tests.
Hopkins and Posey could play huge roles in the passing game for the Texans, as Andre Johnson claims that what he can do has been restricted somewhat by the lack of a big-play receiver on the other side of the field. If Johnson is telling the truth, then the additions of a healthy Hopkins and Posey could get Johnson into Hall-of-Fame numbers.
Lestar Jean and Keshawn Martin are the other Texans receivers with almost guaranteed roster spots, but they haven’t looked like the answer to Johnson’s request during their playing time in the preseason. Martin had a bad drop in the Saints game, and Jean has been unimpressive this preseason.
All other options at receiver have been either placed on injured reserve or cut by the team.