How circumstances may push Texans into unleashing full force of shiny new weapon
Heading into Week 1 the Texans were dealing with an exorbitant amount of injuries, and things didn't get any better after the opening game against the Ravens. Now safety Jalen Pitre looks likely to miss the Colts game, and WR Noah Brown and DT Hassan Ridgeway have been moved to IR, and will be out for at least four weeks.
However, this could be a blessing in disguise for rookie WR Tank Dell. With Brown out of the picture, he should get a boost in targets, and hopefully that will lead to more explosive plays overall. Dell was one of the most talented receivers in the draft, and CJ Stroud could definitely use more playmakers to throw to.
Getting rookies ready to contribute early on can be a challenge, but it's not impossible. Look at how the Ravens deployed Zay Flowers in his NFL debut against the Texans last week.
He had 10 targets and two rush attempts for Baltimore, and was very efficient and effective. Flowers caught 9 of 10 targets for 78 yards, and recorded 9 yards rushing. Dell and Flowers are similar in that both are undersized receivers that can deliver big plays.
Dell was only targeted 4 times and hauled in 3 passes for 34 yards.
It would be nice to see the Texans use Dell on some Jet Sweeps and get him the ball in space more often. Some shots downfield would be great as well, which could loosen up the defense for the running attack.
Speaking of running backs, Dameon Pierce only had 13 total touches on Sunday. The Texans could benefit from keeping him on the field on third down more frequently, and also throwing him passes out of the backfield. He had 2 catches on 3 targets, but just a few more opportunities could make a big difference, especially with a rookie QB.
Journeyman running back Mike Boone should not be limiting Pierce's use on third down.
Don't miss the video above for the full conversation about how the Texans can unleash Tank Dell, and much more!
If you enjoy the videos, subscribe to SportsMap Texans on YouTube so you don't miss our latest content.
And listen to The Bench with John Granato and Lance Zierlein weekday mornings on ESPN 97.5 and 92.5 FM.