For the third straight Saturday, Chad Hansen got on the Texans 53-man roster. And for the third straight Sunday, he made plays.
In the loss at Indianapolis, Hansen caught a 38-yard touchdown pass to get the Texans on the scoreboard, and he would finish with 55 receiving yards on the day. It came a week after he pulled in a team-high seven receptions for 56 yards, and two weeks after his 5-catch, 101-yard Texans debut.
The scoring catch on Sunday was the first of his NFL career, which began in 2017 with the Jets, and then wound its way to almost three years on various practice squads.
"It meant a lot," Hansen said. "First and foremost, it kind of put us back into the game a little bit. Deshaun gave me a good ball and it was a walk-in touchdown. That was awesome. Just a lot of emotions."
On 1st-and-10 at the Colts' 38-yard line, Watson faked a handoff to Scottie Phillips, had plenty of time, and found a wide-open Hansen on the left sideline. He caught it at the 15-yard line and scooted into the end zone for the score. After Ka'imi Fairbairn kicked the extra point, the Texans trailed 14-7 with 3:46 remaining in the first half. On the drive, the Texans went 79 yards on seven plays and burned 4:09 off the game clock.
"I was hoping that he didn't run out of bounds, he kept running full speed," Watson said. "I'm excited for him. This is what he's been working for: to be able to play at a high level, against a playoff team, and be productive. He's definitely a guy that's helping us to be successful, and he's just going to continue."
Hansen became the sixth different Texans wide receiver to find the end zone in 2020, and it was the longest catch of his career. Watson hit Hansen earlier in the possession, when the duo linked up for a 17-yard gain on 3rd-and-7 at Houston's 24-yard line.
"It was just the culmination of a lot of hard work and perseverance, and blood, sweat and tears," Hansen said. "It's been a long journey, and by no means is it over. It's just the beginning, I think. Do the most with the opportunities that are given to me."
Hansen had been elevated from the practice squad the last two Saturdays, but yesterday, he signed to the 53-man roster. After the Colts game at NRG Stadium, and last Sunday's loss at Chicago, Hansen was returned to the practice squad. That won't be the case this week.
Houston hosts the Bengals next Sunday at Noon CT.