What's in a number? HoustonTexans.com is taking a look back at the numerical roster of the franchise, and going over every number that's been worn in team history. From the memorable ones like 99, 80, and 4, to some that might not ring a bell, we've got them all covered.
Jordan Thomas, Tight end, 2018-2019
One of two tight ends named Jordan who were taken in the 2018 Draft—the other was Jordan Akins--Thomas played in Houston the next two seasons. A sixth-rounder out of Mississippi State, Thomas transitioned from his college position of wide receiver to the tight end spot.
He started 10 games as a rookie, played in all 16, and caught 20 passes for 215 yards. Four of those catches were for scores, and a dozen were for first downs.
An injury during the preseason of 2019 limited him to just five games that year, and he caught one pass for eight yards.
In 2020 he moved on to Arizona and New England. He played four games with the Cardinals, and his lone catch was a 3-yard touchdown reception in Week 4 at Carolina. He appeared in a pair of contests for the Patriots in late November.
Kevin Walter, Wide receiver, 2006-2012
Walter's most memorable moment was also one of the most important in franchise history: he caught a touchdown pass from T.J. Yates with two seconds remaining in a December game at Cincinnati to help the Texans win the game and clinch the AFC South.
Walter came to Houston via free agency in the spring of 2006. Over the next seven years he caught 24 touchdowns and 326 passes for 4,083 yards. His finest season, statistically, came in 2008 when he averaged 15 yards per reception and found the end zone eight times.
He started 91 times for the Texans, and appeared in 109 games total. His scoring grab against the Bengals in Week 14 helped Houston edge the Bengals, 20-19. They trailed for all but the final two seconds in that contest. A few moments after the game ended, Walter and the team celebrated the franchise's first AFC South title when the Titans lost to the Saints.
Walter was originally selected by the Giants in the seventh round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He was released during training camp, but latched on with Cincinnati, where he played from 2003 through 2005.
Bennie Joppru, Tight end, 2006
Joppru was picked in the second round of the 2003 Draft out of Michigan, but injuries prevented him from appearing in a game until 2006. He suited up in a Week 1 home loss to the Eagles, and didn't record any stats.
He moved on to Seattle later that season, where appeared in a combined 18 games the next two years.
Frank Murphy, Wide receiver, 2002
Murphy appeared in five games for the Texans during their inaugural season, logging eight tackles on special teams. The Kansas State product spent his first two NFL seasons with Tampa Bay, and returned to the Buccaneers for three games in 2004.
He was originally drafted by the Bears in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft.
Rod Rutledge, Tight end, 2002
Rutledge appeared in seven games for the Texans during their inaugural seasons. He was targeted three times, but didn't record a reception. His final game with Houston came in a Week 9 loss to the Bengals at NRG Stadium.
Before his stint with the Texans, Rutledge was picked out of Alabama in the second round of the 1998 NFL Draft by the Patriots. He would start 31 games with New England over four years, and play in 63 total. He won a Super Bowl ring with the 2001 Patriots.