DeAndre Hopkins Still In "Phase 1" Of Concussion Protocol, Ruled Out Vs. Saints

Less of this, and more of the Vikings game, please. - Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

DeAndre Hopkins is still on Phase 1 of his concussion testing. What's Phase 1? Glad you asked. Read on about the many hoops Hopkins will have to jump through to make it back in time for the season opener September 9th.

Drew Dougherty reported on the Mothership that Texans first-round rookie DeAndre Hopkins will be held out from Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints. Head coach Gary Kubiak broke the disappointing news, "We have not moved forward. We're still at Phase 1." I couldn't find specific information on what the Texans do for concussion testing, but it's likely very similar to what the Philadelphia Eagles did for Michael Vick last year. Here is Phase 1:

Baseline: The Eagles use the ImPACT Test, which is short for Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing. Each player is given a baseline brain test before the season starts. He will not clear the ImPACT test until his postconcussion baseline test is close enough to the preseason exam.

Hopkins is still at this stage, according to Kubiak, meaning his brainwaves are not yet at the same level they were before the preseason started. Once he does, he'll move on to the next phases.

Rehab: There are five phases, in which the heart rate is increased each time, and the player has to go through it without showing symptoms - 30 to 40 percent of target heart rate; 40 to 60 percent (including some dumbbell and balance work); 80 percent with sprint work, full weight work in a noisy environment; return to football activity with non-contact skill work; and finally contact football work.

So Hopkins will have to go through workouts with doctors to ensure that symptoms do not return. After passing each of the workouts, team doctors will monitor Hopkins until he's deemed ready to visit an independent neurologist.

As a fan, there should be no reason to worry yet. Though it would have been nice to see him play against the Saints in the all-important Week 3 preseason game, it's obviously much more important that Hopkins be healthy in the long term.

With Hopkins out, this means Lestar Jean and/or Keshawn Martin will likely be getting considerable time with the first team this Sunday. Who are you hoping will take third WR spot at the beginning of the season?

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