Jordan Thomas returns to lineup, ready to contribute

Just hours after he was activated to the 53-man roster, Jordan Thomas played his first game of 2019 when the Houston Texans beat the Indianapolis Colts 20-17 on Thursday night. In his first game back, Thomas saw action behind Jordan Akins and veteran Darren Fells.

"They are doing an amazing job," Thomas said. "When the ball is coming to them, they're catching it and blocking and making plays. You can't ask for anything better than what they're doing. So I'm just coming in and trying to help this team win, whatever that is."

The second-year tight end was on the Injured Reserve list after injuring his ribs during the August 29 preseason game against the Rams. Thomas returned to practice on November 11 and was within the team's 21-day activation period when he was called up to the 53-man roster Thursday.

"Jordan, we decided to activate him," head coach Bill O'Brien said Friday. "He had practiced well and I think yesterday he got in there a little bit. I think over time he's going to add a dimension in the running game and in the passing game. He's big, he's athletic, he's got great hands, he's become a better blocker over time, so we'll keep incorporating him into the offense. It's good to have him back."

Thomas finished with 20 receptions for 215 yards, averaging 10.8 yards per catch, and four touchdowns in 16 games last year. He is tied with Andre Johnson for the second-most touchdown receptions in a season by a rookie in franchise history.

With five games remaining in the 2019 regular season, the (7-4) Texans are currently in first place in the AFC South after the Week 12 win over the Colts.