J.J. Watt on Thursday’s preseason game: There are much bigger things at hand
A decision on Thursday’s scheduled preseason game between the Texans and the Cowboys still has not been made. The game, though, is expected to be moved to AT&T Stadium from NRG Stadium, because of flooding in Houston.
That doesn’t mean it should be played.
The displaced Texans, who are working out at the Cowboys’ practice facility, would rather return home when possible rather than play a meaningless preseason game. Coach Bill O’Brien and several players carefully sidestepped questions about canceling the game, but they made it clear where a fourth preseason ranks in light of what’s going on in their city.
“I think there are much bigger things at hand, absolutely,” Texans defensive end J.J. Watt said after Monday’s practice at The Star when asked if the NFL should cancel the game. “I think that the most important thing right now is family and friends and the city of Houston back home, making sure they’re safe, making sure they’re taken care of it.
“If there is something played this week, I think we should definitely involve some sort of fundraiser, some sort of way to benefit the people back home, because I think this is a much bigger issue than just a football game.”
The Texans arrived in West Virginia for training camp on July 25. They got back home Aug. 18 and left four days later for New Orleans for joint practices with the Saints. Unable to return home after Hurricane Harvey hit, the Texans flew from New Orleans to DFW on Saturday night. They do not know when they will go home as rain continues to pound Houston.
The Texans, who truly are “day to day,” have scheduled Tuesday’s practice at The Star. They do not know when they will return home, likely staying in the Dallas area until after Thursday’s game, if it’s played in Arlington.
“It’s tough. It’s tough,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said. “It’s tough not to be there. We have players that are dealing with water in their homes. We have three coaches that are in neighborhoods where there’s mandatory evacuations, a couple of coaches where there are voluntary evacuations. Players, the same thing. Trying to do the best we can to keep everybody together.”