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Texans' Hopkins cleared, likely to start vs. Chargers

The SportsXchange

Houston Texans first-round pick DeAndre Hopkins passed his concussion test and was back at practice Tuesday, putting the wide receiver in line to start Monday night at San Diego.

Hopkins, who suffered the concussion during the Houston's second preseason game against Miami, did not play in the team's final two preseason games. He still is expected to be in the lineup alongside Andre Johnson at wide receiver in Week 1 against the Chargers.

The 27th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft had six catches for 74 yards and a touchdown in two preseason games.

The Texans drafted Hopkins in the first round with the idea that having a second reliable playmaker might prevent opponents from focusing so much on 32-year-old Pro Bowler Andre Johnson, especially in the red zone.

Johnson had 112 catches for 1,598 yards in 2012. He's accustomed to being the top playmaker outside after lining up with block-first veteran Kevin Walter at split end for most of his career.

Hopkins is inexperienced, but he's been praised as a hard worker with natural ball skills and a nose for the end zone.
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