How circumstances may push Texans into unleashing full force of shiny new weapon

IT'S HAPPENING

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!

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What could hold the Texans back this season? Composite Getty Image.

We made it! Training camp is officially here, with all the Texans players having reported to the team and set to take the field this Thursday.

And while the Texans are the favorites to win the division, there are some areas of concern heading into the season.

ESPN Texans reporter DJ Bien-Aime joined The Mina Kimes Show and shared his thoughts on the Texans outlook this season.

When looking at the Texans offense, Bien-Aime pointed to Houston's play calling as being a possible issue in 2024. Bobby Slowik did a terrific job in his first season as an offensive coordinator. But he will have his hands full keeping all his playmakers happy with Stefon Diggs joining the team, and Nico Collins expecting a lot of looks after signing a massive contract extension.

Kimes also pointed to Slowik's insistence on staying committed to the running game even when the team was having zero success on the ground. Hopefully that issue will get corrected either through better results in the run game, or putting the ball in CJ Stroud's hands when the ground game is repeatedly getting stuffed.

On defense, both Kimes and Bien-Aime named Houston's secondary as the big x-factor this year. Bien-Aime named cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. as the only player in the secondary that he truly trusts. He also strongly believes that rookie cornerback Kamari Lassiter will start opposite Stingley as the team's No. 2 corner.

The Texans certainly have concerns at defensive tackle with Sheldon Rankins and Malik Collins gone, but the secondary has to be the biggest worry in a pass-heavy NFL. Not to mention the level of quarterback play the Texans will face while dealing with a first-place schedule this year.

If you love hearing informed football analysts talking ball, this is the video for you. They cover all things Texans and give a full preview of the AFC South, plus predictions!

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