Hopkins still in the first stage of the concussion protocol

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Texans rookie receiver DeAndre Hopkins suffered a concussion in the team’s second preseason game.  Five days later, he’s no closer to returning to action.

Coach Gary Kubiak told reporters on Thursday that Hopkins remains at the first level of the league’s concussion protocol.  As a result, Hopkins has multiple hurdles to clear before he’ll be cleared to play, culminating in clearance from an independent neurologist.

“We have not moved forward, Kubiak said.  “We’re still at phase one.  He feels about the same, so obviously he is not going to play this week.  He’s ruled out this week.  He’s doing better, but the process has not moved past stage one.”

The Texans need the first-rounder to develop into a capable complement to No. 1 wideout Andre Johnson.  And Johnson knows Hopkins is eager.

“He wants to be out there, but he can’t,” Johnson said of Hopkins.  “He’s doing fine.  He just wants to get back on the field and play football.  You don’t see anything like that coming where you get a concussion or whatever and you have to miss some time.  He just wants to get back out there, out on the field.  It’s just his biggest thing right now.”

Hopkins has 18 days to pass through the various other phases of the concussion protocol, in order to be ready for the season-opening game to be played on the first Monday night of the season.