No rest for the weary on a short week, and the weary’s name is Xavien Howard.
A day after Howard’s secondary allowed Detroit quarterback Matt Stafford to complete all but four of his 22 passing attempts, Howard had no time to wallow.
He was already onto his next challenge.
And that challenge is massive: Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
Expect Howard to see plenty of Hopkins Thursday night, if not shadow him the entire game. Hopkins is a nightmare, ranking fifth in the NFL with 47 catches, third with 707 receiving yards and 11th with four receiving touchdowns.
And he successful bends (if not breaks) the rules without ever getting caught.
“Oh man. I was just watching the film this morning,” Howard said. “I watched the Jaguars. I seen him. He likes to push off a lot. It’s about to get physical. He can make some helluva catches.”
Pushing off is a nice way of saying committing offensive pass interference. But according to FootballDB.com, Hopkins has not been flagged for that offense once.
Howard will assuredly want to put on a show Thursday. He will be playing in his hometown. The team gets into town Tuesday, so he should have plenty of time to see his mother and the rest of his family.
Howard grew up in the impoverished Fifth Ward, where he witnessed a murder as a child. His mother and siblings have since gotten out of that bad neighborhood.
“It’s what built me, living in Houston,” Howard said. “Seeing everything that happened there. Went through the hurricanes, a lot of stuff. It built me, the character I am today. It’s a great city. They’re still building.”