The Texans will kick off their 2017 season unlike any other, as Houston continues to rebuild from Hurricane Harvey's devastation.
"To be able to finally be back in the city with this team, to be able to dedicate this season to the city of such amazing people and the countless fans who've been with us since day one, that's what we need and it's great added motivation to be able to look forward to this season," Christian Covington said.
Covington, who grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, has spent his entire collegiate and professional football career playing for Houston, first at Rice University and then with the Texans when they drafted him in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. The third-year defensive end developed many friendships during his career in Houston and has a special bond with the city.
"It's going to be amazing," Christian Covington said. "As you said, I'm going into my seventh year total in this city. Houston's truly become my second home and to be able to see all the devastation that happened, from while we were away from the city, it hurt a lot of us. A lot of us felt helpless. My family was kind of stuck in the area as well. I had a lot of college friends and former teammates who were affected."
On Monday, the team confirmed their Week 1 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars would remain at NRG Stadium. In the wake of widespread flooding, NRG Center is currently being used as a temporary shelter next to the stadium. Texans players visited evacuees at NRG Center last week and many have been active in their volunteer efforts throughout the Houston area.
Bill O'Brien and the Texans dedicated their 2017 to the city and people of Houston and players are excited to play in front of their home crowd in Week 1.
"We know it's a hard time here in Houston right now," Lamar Miller said. "We're just trying to do anything to make this city proud this upcoming Sunday. And for us to do that, everybody has to do their assignment, play fast and just put on a show."
The Texans will host the Jacksonville Jaguars in their 2017 season opener at NRG Stadium. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. on CBS and SportsRadio 610.
Check out some of the best shots from practice as the Texans prepare for Week 1 against the Jaguars.