Tank Dell’s Return Boosts Houston Texans’ Early Playoff Hopes

The return of rookie WR Tank Dell against the Carolina Panthers positions the Houston Texans for a strong run in the coming weeks at just the right time.
Tank Dell versus the Indianapolis Colts
Tank Dell versus the Indianapolis Colts / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

The Houston Texans breakout rookie wide receiver Tank Dell is set to return to the team this week against the Carolina Panthers following a concussion in week 5 against the New Orleans Saints. 

As a favorite target of fellow rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud, Dell’s presence on the team became immediately noticeable in the first few weeks. What fan’s thought had been an improbable catch by Dell in the first half against the Saints turned out to be a concussion that put him out for multiple weeks. As the Texans look to take on 0-6 Carolina Panthers, they are confirmed to have Dell back in action, something head coach DeMeco Ryans is eager to see. 

"Houston Texans: “Getting Tank back is big for us. As we all have seen he has made big time plays every game he’s been out there."

Texans Head Coach DeMeco Ryans

Dell currently has 19 catches for 324 yards with the Texans coming off 28 targets. He’s averaged 17.1 yards per catch and has snagged 2 touchdowns. With Stroud finding another connection in wide receiver Nico Collins which helped carry them to victory against the Saints with 4 receptions for 80 yards, there should be no shortages in targets against a Panther’s defense that ranks 23rd in opponent yards per completion and 26th in yards per play allowed.

As the franchise rallies behind Stroud who is proving to be the quarterback they’ve been searching for with each game, he’ll be quick to get Dell involved early as part of his over 35 average pass attempts each game. After taking part in practice on Monday for the team, he’ll have a chance to get back into action on Sunday for their first game off of the bye week. 

"Houston Texans: "He’s been a consistent guy that we can count on when we need a big play. So, it’s exciting to have Tank back, and just thankful that he’s healthy and he’s back feeling better and ready to roll.""

Texans Head Coach DeMeco Ryans

Dell has been impressive by all standards and his connection to the team after being hand-picked by Stroud himself during the draft makes him a key part of the future of the franchise. The team is currently staring down a steak of potential wins in their schedule that has some fans online debating the possibility of a wildcard playoff appearance. After taking on the Panthers, the Texans are matched up particularly well against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the following week before taking on teams like the Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos in coming weeks.

Hopes are high for the Texans coming into their next game at 3-3, and having Dell back at their disposal offers the team and fans alike reassurance last year’s record can stay in the past. Let’s just hope that swarm mentality holds strong moving forward.