One of the shocking aspects of the Houston Texans’ flat loss to the Indianapolis Colts was that receiver DeAndre Hopkins had almost no impact.
There was a good reason. Hopkins said after the game that he played through a Grade 3 sprain to the AC joint in his shoulder. Grade 3 is the most severe sprain. Hopkins had just 37 yards.
James Palmer of NFL Network said Hopkins couldn’t shake hands with his right hand and needed help getting his shirt on afterward.
“It is what it is, it’s football,” Hopkins said, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “Very difficult.”
Even if the Texans had won on Saturday and advanced, you have to wonder if Hopkins would have been able to play next week. But Houston doesn’t have to worry about that after a 21-7 loss.
DeAndre Hopkins had little impact
Hopkins was arguably the best receiver in football this season, with 1,572 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was named a first-team All-Pro. With one arm, he wasn’t the same player.
Hopkins had just five catches on Saturday. He had 37 yards, and just 11 yards after halftime, even with the Texans in catch-up mode after falling behind 21-0.
On the first play of the game, the Texans threw deep to Hopkins. He was guarded closely — Hopkins and the Texans argued it was pass interference — and Deshaun Watson’s pass fell incomplete. That set the tone for Hopkins’ quiet day, and it got worse with the injury.
Hopkins didn’t come out despite the injury
Hopkins left for the locker room early at halftime, and now we know why.
Give Hopkins credit for not coming out of the game despite a severe injury. Even with Hopkins not having full use of his right arm, the Texans weren’t going to have a chance with him on the sideline. We found out a lot about Hopkins’ toughness on Saturday, even in a loss.
It will be a long offseason for the Texans after a bad showing in a playoff loss. At least we have a decent reason for the lack of production from the offense on Saturday.
– – – – – – –
More from Yahoo Sports:
• Report: Big Ben took shots at Antonio Brown in team meetings
• Kanter to miss Knicks game in London due to fear of Turkish president
• Harper, Machado’s destiny still a mystery two months in
• Report: USC is denying NFL teams permission to talk to Kliff Kingsbury