Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins told reporters at the Tri-Star Show in Houston's NRG Arena on Saturday that he suffered torn shoulder ligaments during his team's 21-7 AFC Wild Card loss to the Indianapolis Colts last January.
"I tore ligaments in my shoulder completely off the bone," he said, per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. "I tried to play even though I had only one arm. We had something good going, and I know they needed me."
Hopkins played through significant pain en route to catching five passes for 37 yards. He was on the field for all 71 of Houston's offensive snaps.
The six-year veteran amassed 115 catches, 1,572 yards and 11 touchdowns on a 70.6 percent catch rate in 2018. He was inarguably the game's best wideout last year, and he amassed tremendous stats while playing through what he termed "serious injuries."
"Last year was tough, not just physically but mentally," Hopkins said.
"It's the most banged up I've ever been playing football. I was dealing with serious injuries a lot of people would have sat down for. But we had a good team that depended on me, and I never gave a thought to not playing unless the doctors told me I couldn't."
Hopkins played all 16 regular-season games (plus one playoff contest) en route to helping lead Houston to an 11-5 record and an AFC South title. He dealt with a persistent foot injury before suffering the shoulder ailment in the playoffs.
Thankfully, Hopkins is in better health as the team progresses through its offseason program.
"I plan to be," Hopkins said. "I'm resting my body and healing. This is going to be the best I've felt. I feel like I'm going to be better than ever. I'm trying to help my team win more games and be better than last year."
Hopkins has missed only one game during his stellar six-year career. He's averaged 100 catches for 1,356 yards and 10 touchdowns per season since becoming the team's No. 1 wideout in 2015.