Since he arrived in 2017, there have been two main organizational goals with regards to Deshaun Watson: bolstering his protection and adding weapons for him.
The Texans checked both of those boxes this spring when they signed tight end Darren Fells.
At the time, his addition didn’t get a lot of fanfare. Houston is the fourth stop in a career that’s wound from Arizona to Detroit and then Cleveland. Labeled in the media as a ‘blocking tight end’, and jokingly self-described as a “left, left tackle”, Fells has fit in nicely this season in helping block for Watson in pass protection, and the backs in the run game.
But after yesterday, he also shares the team lead in touchdown catches with three.
Fells pulled in a pair of scores in the 53-32 romp over the Falcons, and he also caught a touchdown in the road win at Los Angeles. The 6-foot-7 inch basketball star at UC-Irvine from 2004 to 2008, played professional basketball overseas in places like Belgium, Finland and Argentina. He used his physical prowess and athleticism on his second scoring grab yesterday.
“I caught the ball high,” Fells said. “I know they were going to try to punch it out, so I’m just going to keep it high away from them like I do with my little brother.”
Fells, tied with Will Fuller V with three touchdown catches this year, has caught nine passes for 90 yards. While his main task has been to block, he’s clearly a red zone threat as well.
“He’s a big target,” head coach Bill O’Brien said. “Former basketball player, very athletic, very smart. He’s a hard guy to handle because he’s 6’7”. I mean, he’s a big guy, he’s got long reach, so he’s able to go up and get those balls. Those were great throws and excellent catches by Darren.”
At 33 years of age, he’s also one of the more veteran players on the squad. It’s his sixth NFL season, after spending four years abroad playing pro hoops.
“Really has been a great addition to our team,” O’Brien said. “He’s a very mature guy, works very hard at being as good as he can be in the role that we ask him to play every week. He blocks well and he did a really good job in the red area yesterday.”
Fells, like the rest of the team liked seeing the offense find a groove in the win over Atlanta. They had the ball for 10 drives, scoring on eight. All five second half possessions resulted in points.
“It’s extremely important for us to start getting in a rhythm,” Fells said. “Obviously, last week we were struggling a little bit. This week we picked it up. So it’s just getting into that rhythm and keeping that streak going.”
Fells and the Texans will look to continue that on the road next Sunday when they face the Chiefs in Kansas City.
Houston Texans take on the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium for the fifth game of the 2019 NFL season.