Texans WR Tank Dell Expected To Be Ready For OTAs

The Texans were one of the NFL’s biggest surprises in 2023, capturing the AFC South title and advancing to the divisional round of the postseason under the leadership of rookie QB C.J. Stroud and rookie head coach DeMeco Ryans. Another of Houston’s first-year talents, wide receiver Tank Dell, was unavailable for the club’s playoff push thanks to the fractured fibula that he suffered in a Week 13 win over the Broncos.

Luckily, it seems that the injury will have no long-term ramifications. Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 recently posted a video of Dell moving with apparent ease at a charity softball game, and Wilson notes that Dell is expected to be on the field when OTAs begin in the spring.

Dell, a third-round pick in the 2023 draft, was in the midst of a terrific rookie season, posting 47 catches for 709 yards and seven TDs in just 11 games (eight starts). In the run-up to his injury, Dell firmly established himself as a trusted weapon for Stroud, drawing double-digit targets every game from Weeks 9 through 11 and another eight chances in Week 12. He also saw some return work over the course of the season, taking back 11 punts for 100 yards and two kickoffs for 44 yards.

Houston’s receiving corps boasts a fair amount of young talent, with Dell entering his second pro season and breakout player Nico Collins just now eligible for an extension after finishing his third year in the league. A new deal for Collins, as well as a potential re-up for tight end Dalton Schultz and any number of other extensions or acquisitions will be made much easier by the fact that the Texans have their starting quarterback on a rookie contract for at least the next two seasons.

2022 second-rounder John Metchie finally got his first taste of NFL action in 2023 after his professional debut was delayed first by the ACL tear he suffered in the SEC title game in 2021, and then by Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia, and then by a hamstring strain that prevented him from getting much OTA work and sidelined him for Week 1 of the 2023 campaign. He ultimately played in every game from Week 2 forward, catching 16 balls for 158 yards. The hope is that he will be able to enjoy a fully-healthy offseason and hit the ground running when the regular season opens in September.

The elder statesman of the group, Robert Woods, is under contract through 2024 after inking a two-year deal with Houston last March. Another 2023 FA signing, Noah Brown, is out of contract, though the Texans may consider a new deal for him. While Brown battled injury trouble of his own last season, he managed to catch 33 balls for 572 yards (good for a career-high 17.2 yards-per-reception rate) and two TDs in 10 games (seven starts).

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