Watch Houston Texans star J.J. Watt and his teammates hand out food and supplies to hundreds of Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey.
USA TODAY Sports
HOUSTON — The Houston Texans will open their regular season at home, as scheduled, in NRG Stadium. Head coach Bill O’Brien made the announcement at a press conference Monday.
It ended speculation that Sunday’s game against the Jaguars could be moved to Jacksonville because of complications within Houston stemming from Hurricane Harvey.
The decision involved Houston mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and Texans owner Bob McNair, according to O’Brien.
“And everyone agrees that our game will not take resources away from other parts of the city and that this game will be an opportunity to continue to bring us all together as Houstonians and as Texans,” O’Brien said.
Roads around NRG Stadium are free of the floodwater that devastated the city and have triggered a recovery effort expected to cost roughly $160 billion.
More: J.J. Watt gets busy bringing supplies to Houstonians
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Earlier Monday, Texans players said playing Week 1 in Houston would help a city still reeling from the natural disaster that killed dozens of people.
“I know there was questions about whether we were going to be able to have the season opener as a home game,” defensive end Christian Covington said. “To be able to have it on schedule, we already know that place is going to be packed. It’s going to be rocking, and the fans are going to be bringing everything they have with them.”
Offensive lineman Kendall Lamm said the game will unify the reeling region.
“It’s going to bring the communities together,” Lamm said. “It’s going to bring Houston together. It’s going to bring the surrounding areas together. And we just hope to be that shining light.”
After the hurricane hit, O’Brien dedicated the Texans’ season to the city.
“Football is important, but the most important thing right now is doing everything we can for our city,” O’Brien said a week ago. “We’re going to dedicate this season to the city of Houston, the people of Houston.”
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