Amari Rodgers hasn't been a Texan for long, but he made a big impact on Sunday in Arlington.
The wide receiver, who was claimed off waivers from Green Bay on November 16, caught four passes for 57 yards and a touchdown in Houston's 27-23 loss to the Cowboys.
His three non-scoring catches all resulted in first downs for the Texans offense, and two of those grabs came on third down.
While he said he was disappointed in the outcome, and that he thought the Texans should've won, the game was extra-special for Rodgers. The second-year pass-catcher was let go by the Packers just days after he fumbled a punt in a 31-28 loss to Dallas.
"I was locked in," Rodgers said. "This whole week I was like I owed the Cowboys because they were my last game with the Packers. I knew that I owed them. I wanted to give them a good game to show them I wasn't the player that I was my last game. This game was definitely circled for me. I wanted to play well."
Rodgers was a more significant part of the game plan because the Texans went into the game without Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins.
So Rodgers and Chris Moore—who had a game-high 10 receptions for 124 yards—showed up and made significant impacts.
"We were down our top two receivers today, but Chris Moore really stepped up," Head Coach Lovie Smith said. "Amari Rodgers stepped up, so you like with those guys were able to do."
With 2:30 remaining in the second quarter, and the Texans facing a 2nd-and-11 at the Cowboys' 28-yard line, quarterback Jeff Driskel scrambled to his right and fired a pass to Rodgers. The Clemson product pulled corralled it in the front right corner of the end zone, and Houston had a 17-14 advantage after Ka'imi Fairbairn's extra point.
"It was just a play action," Rodgers said. "I just ran a wheel route. I was really just supposed to clear out the safety. It wasn't supposed to come to me. But I was playing fast and was ready for the ball. He threw it to me, and I just made the play."
A third-round draft pick in 2021, it was the first touchdown receptions of Rodgers' career.
"I felt great," Rodgers said. "It felt amazing just being able to get in the endzone and get that weight lifted off me. I definitely feel like I'll be able to continue to make plays now that I've made that play."
Rodgers and the Texans host the Chiefs this Sunday at noon inside NRG Stadium.