Wednesday was a great day for Charles James II.
"I just went out there and basically had to get a feel for my teammates again," James said. "Just being around those guys, they gave me a big greeting when I came back into the locker room and to be back on the field and they made me laugh and said some different things, they just made me feel at home again."
The cornerback signed with the Texans on Tuesday and practiced with the squad on Wednesday. James
became a fan favorite during August and early September, in large part to the spotlight that shone on him during HBO's 'Hard Knocks'. He was cut by the Texans in early September, signed to the Baltimore active roster shortly thereafter, and was let go by the Ravens last Saturday.
Head coach Bill O'Brien said Wednesday that it was "good to have Charles back", and his teammates agreed.
"He's a good guy," punter Shane Lechler said. "Hopefully he brings us some energy on special teams."
In the preseason game against the Broncos, James made three big plays on punt coverage. The next
week at New Orleans, he entered the game in the fourth quarter as a running back, and peeled off a 73-yard touchdown run. The score was taken off the board because of a penalty, but it was another instance in which James made the most of an opportunity.
"He's a guy that can come in here and obviously hopefully help us on special teams and do some things on the defensive side of the ball," defensive end J.J. Watt said. "So as long as he can come in here and help us, that's what matters."
The return is sweet for James. Even though he grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, he explained why Houston feels like home.
"Just because the love Houston shows," James said. "The fans, the team, out of all of the three places I've been, this feels at home to me. For me home is not really, I know some people go by where they grew up, but where they show the most love, and this is home."
James and the Texans will practice again on Thursday and Friday at the Houston Methodist Training Center. They'll fly to Miami on Saturday and face the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday at noon CT.
The Houston Texans roster in photos. (Updated 4/12/2021)