DeAndre Hopkins just couldn’t help himself.
We all know Hopkins didn’t leave Houston on the best of terms—the Texans dealt their disgruntled wideout to Arizona this offseason in a trade that stunned the NFL masses. Hopkins’ seven-year Texans stint met its unceremonious demise largely due to a falling out with Bill O’Brien who, in addition to his head coaching responsibilities, also doubles as Houston’s de factor general manager. While Hopkins’ frustration was tangible by the end of his Houston tenure, the 28-year-old has been awfully chummy of late, likely owing to his freshly-inked two-year, $54-million extension, a deal that will make the four-time Pro Bowler the highest-paid receiver on a per-year basis in league history.
Nuk’s former team had a rough go of it in Thursday night’s season opener, losing by a lopsided 34-20 margin in front of a 22-percent capacity crowd at socially-distanced Arrowhead Stadium. Sans Hopkins, the Texans got noticeably little from their pass-catching corps in Kansas City with only Will Fuller (8-112-0 on 10 targets) clearing the 40-yard receiving threshold. The Chiefs have been Houston’s kryptonite of late, handily defeating them in last year’s Divisional Round (KC overcame a 24-point first-half deficit in that one) before laying down the hammer Thursday in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score would indicate.
Around the time this was happening, Hopkins decided to press send on a concise but impactful subtweet, needing just a single word to annihilate the team that drafted him 27th overall in 2013.
Hopkins, who is set to make his Cardinals debut Sunday in San Francisco against the reigning NFC Champion 49ers (setting the stage for a potential showdown with future Hall of Famer Richard Sherman), later denied he was taking a shot at his ex-employer, insisting he was only referring to his appearance that night on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Sure Nuk, whatever you say.