The Runner Sports

How Does Will Fuller’s Injury Change The Texans Receiving Corps

The Texans wide receiver corps has taken a serious blow. 2016 first-round pick Will Fuller broke his collarbone during Wednesday’s practice and has no clear timetable for his return.

The Texans drafted Will Fuller to be the important deep threat in Bill O’Brien’s offense. Then, Fuller only caught 47 of his 92 targets and largely struggled with inconsistent hands. However, he made the most of the receptions, totaling 635 yards, two touchdowns, and more than 13.5 yards-per-catch. He also returned a punt 67 yards against the Titans for a critical touchdown. Unfortunately for Houston, these skills will now be pushed to the sideline for the foreseeable future.

With Will Fuller on the mend, the Texans will now need to forge ahead with a new second option behind DeAndre Hopkins. There are some interesting options on the roster, but there isn’t truly a consistent presence.

Third-year receiver Jaelen Strong has shown flashes at times and could be an option across from Hopkins. However, he has also struggled with consistency, only playing in 18 games and catching 28 passes for 292 yards and three touchdowns. It does help that Tom Savage and Strong worked well together during preseason action back in 2015. This familiarity could come in handy if Savage stays the starter.

Braxton Miller is another option, but he is coming off an injury-prone rookie season with only 15 receptions for 99 yards and one touchdown. While he could work as the second outside receiver, Miller is actually better suited for the slot. His best work last season came as the third option while working against linebackers. 

Interestingly, there is another unproven option that could make a run for a starting receiver spot. DeAndrew White, who only joined the team on Monday, has been making plays and impressing multiple Texans coaches and writers.

Originally an undrafted free agent out of Alabama, White played in four games for the San Francisco 49ers back in 2015. He then spent the 2016 season on New England’s practice squad, which, by all reports, has been a huge benefit considering that the majority of Houston’s staff previously worked for the Patriots. White already knows the system and can jump right in.

The Texans do have a few other options like Wendall Williams, Chris Thompson, and Riley McCarron. The main issue with these players is that they all have little to no experience in the pros. There could be a steeper learning curve that limits their playmaking ability.

The loss of Fuller is rough, but at least the Texans have a week to get acclimated. Which wide receiver will step up against the Carolina Panthers on August 9th?

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John Newby

A Minnesota Vikings fan from Oregon who writes about the Houston Texans and discusses nerdy topics.
Quite fond of my wife, video games, and Blue Heelers.
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