Houston Texans: 4 disappointing players at half-point of the 2019 season
By Jair Lopez
DeAndre Carter and Keke Coutee
The Houston Texans have had their ups and downs with their special teams’ returner, DeAndre Carter. The Texans’ coaching staff elected to give Carter another shot after failing to find a viable kick and punt returner to push him for his job throughout the preseason.
Carter showed glimpses of being able to contribute in the offense as a slot receiver and played well in Keke Coutee’s absence in 2018, although he was signed to bring life to a unit that has been unable to field a competent returner on special teams.
Texans have been overall patient with Carter this season in contrast with punter Trevor Daniel who was released early in the season due to his lackluster performances on special teams. However, Carter has struggled to make much of an impact by only averaging 8.9 yards on the 14 punts he’s returned this season.
Carter was an afterthought in the offense for the majority of the first half of the season with his only reception before Week 8 was for a one-yard loss against the New Orleans Saints with Coutee ruled out after suffering an ankle injury in the first game of the preseason.
However, Carter saw increasing snaps on offense in Week 8 against the Oakland Raiders and caught a 46-yard pass with Coutee riding the pine. It’s no coincidence that Carter’s playing time has come with the expense of Coutee’s snaps, so Coutee will have to improve to reclaim his role in the Texans’ gameplans moving forward.
Texans have gained minimal production from their fourth and fifth receiver on the roster with Coutee and Carter combining for 15 receptions and199 receiving yards. Being the backups plays a part in their lack of production, but they will have to capitalize on their matchups with the other receivers getting most of the attention from opposing defenses.
Opportunities are limited in the NFL, so they will need to excel in their respective roles for the Texans to have a stronger second half in the regular season.