Ex-Texan DeAndre Hopkins' NFL future unsure due to new COVID-19 rules
Arizona Cardinal wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) is seen here when he played for the Texans running against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half of a January 2020 NFL game in Kansas City. The Associated Press.

The NFL unveiled the Texans’ new 2021 17-game schedule Wednesday night, and while there may be plenty to be excited about, fans may want to circle Oct. 24 on their calendars.

In this Dec. 27, 2020, file photo, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt walks on the field before an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Houston. Watt and the Texans “mutually agreed to part ways,” ending the tenure of the face of the franchise and adding another huge change to an offseason filled with upheaval. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith, File)

Rest assured, it has been circled by DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt, who will be hosting their former team when the Texans show up in Glendale to take on the Arizona Cardinals. The trade of Hopkins last offseason sparked the beginning of the Texans’ tailspin and Watt chose this offseason to join his former Texans teammate in the Arizona desert.

In addition to the game against old acquaintances, the Texans’ 2021 schedule should feature the debut of No.1 overall draft pick quarterback Trevor Lawrence when the Jacksonville Jaguars come into NRG Stadium for the season opener on Sept. 12. It will also be the head coaching debut of both Urban Meyer, former head coach of The Ohio State University, along with Texans’ coach David Culley.

With the Texans coming off a 4-12 finish, the upheaval of the front office and coaching staff and with the uncertainty of the availability of embattled quarterback Deshaun Watson, it’s not much of a surprise the Texans aren’t loaded with primetime games this season.

But in Week 3 they do get one Thursday night shot when they host the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 23 in what is technically their “17th game” after the NFL moved to a 17-game format. Now they will have to wait until Nov. 14 for their bye week.

The Texans will feature their usual two games against their AFC South opponents and they will be matched up against the AFC West and NFC West this season.

The 18-week regular season now starts a week later and will not end until Jan. 9 when the Texans host Tennessee in the finale.

Here is a look at the Texans schedule for the 2021 season:

·         Week 1: vs. Jacksonville, Sept. 12

·         Week 2: at Cleveland, Sept. 19

·         Week 3: vs. Carolina, Sept. 23

·         Week 4: at Buffalo, Oct. 3

·         Week 5: vs. New England, Oct. 10

·         Week 6: at Indianapolis, Oct. 17

·         Week 7: at Arizona, Oct. 24

·         Week 8: vs. Los Angeles Rams, Oct. 31

·         Week 9: at Miami, Nov. 7

·         Week 10: Bye

·         Week 11: at Tennessee, Nov. 21

·         Week 12: vs. New York Jets, Nov. 28

·         Week 13: vs. Indianapolis, Dec. 5

·         Week 14: vs. Seattle, Dec. 12

·         Week 15: at Jacksonville, Dec. 19

·         Week 16: vs. Los Angeles Chargers, Dec. 26

·         Week 17: at San Francisco, Jan. 2, 2022

·         Week 18: vs. Tennessee, Jan. 9, 2022