Texans head home to flood-ravaged Houston
ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texans headed home to flood-ravaged Houston after their final preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys was canceled Wednesday.
“We’ve got several members of our travel party — our coaches, our players, our staff members — whose families have been evacuated,” general manager Rick Smith said. “There is so much devastation in the city and the region and we want to be part of the recovery process.”
The game scheduled for tonight had been moved from Houston to the home of the Cowboys because of widespread flooding in the Houston area in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
The decision to cancel the game altogether was announced when the Texans said local authorities had found a safe route for the team to drive the 250 miles home.
Smith said Wednesday was
Houston players gather their luggage after traveling from Dallas to Houston on Wednesday. The Texans were going to play a preseason game today in Arlington, Texas, home of the Cowboys, but the NFL canceled the game.
the first day they had the option to return to Houston and the team felt it was better to go home than to try and play a game Thursday.
“When it became available to us, we’ve got so many guys on the team that are distracted by all the events and the circumstances that it became in- Karen Warren / Houston Chronicle via AP
creasingly more difficult from our perspective to go out and try to play a football game,” Smith said. “And I’m not sure it would have been fair to do so. So when the opportunity arose today that we had a safe route to get home (we) made the decision to cancel the game.”
After the Texans played their preseason game in New Orleans last weekend, they went to North Texas instead of home after the storm. The Texans worked out Monday and Tuesday at the Cowboys’ practice facility.
Smith wasn’t sure when the Texans would resume practice, but said that NRG Stadium wasn’t damaged in the storm and that their opener there on Sept. 10 against the Jacksonville Jaguars would go on as planned.
“We’re hurting, Houston is hurting, but we’re strong,” Smith said. “We’ve been there over a decade and we are part of the fabric of the community.”
Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt was pleased with the decision to cancel the game and get back to Houston.
“I think it’s the right decision,” he said. “Everybody here is obviously most concerned about their families, their friends, the city of Houston back home. I think it’s extremely important that we get home as quickly as we possibly can.”