Keke Coutee had a career day versus the Colts.
Unfortunately, it came in a losing effort, but the young receiver cracked the 100-yard receiving mark for the third time since entering the NFL. All three of those contests came against Indianapolis.
Coutee caught a game-high eight passes for 141 yards in the 26-20 defeat at NRG Stadium. His NFL debut came in 2018 at Indianapolis, when he caught 11 balls for 109 yards in a win. He also had 11 catches for 110 yards and a score in the playoff loss that season to the Colts.
Because they play twice yearly in the AFC South, the two franchises are familiar foes. Coutee pointed to that familiarity as one reason for his success.
"They do a lot of things, but most of the time we know where they're going to be," Coutee said. "Just being ready when our number is called. This season has been a crazy one, 2020, so just being ready when my number is called and catching balls when the ball comes my way."
After not catching a pass in Week 1, and then from Week 3 through Week 10, Coutee got back in the lineup and became a player Deshaun Watson could go to. Not seeing action for much of this season and last was frustrating for Coutee. But he just kept working.
"The only thing you can do is continue to go forward," Coutee said. "I just have to do my job, show up to work hard every day, and on Sundays just continue to make plays. That other stuff is handled there so I just have to do my job."
Coutee got to work early in Sunday's game, pulling in a long pass from Watson, and then weaving his way down to the Colts' 11-yard line. It was the third play of the second drive, and Watson ran in for a score on the next play.
"It was just a route concept that we had," Coutee said. "We knew they were going to just be over the top with a safety right there. I was able to get over the top, and Deshaun made a great throw, and it was a great way to start the game."
Coutee's performance, and the way he never gave up, was big for interim head coach Romeo Crennel.
"That just shows what kind of player he is, shows what kind of mindset he had to practice, not be active, and then he gets a chance and he performs and produces," Crennel said.
Like fellow receiver Chad Hansen, who also finished with 100-plus receiving yards against Indianapolis, Coutee spent a lot of time this offseason catching passes from Watson. Getting on the same page with the quarterback worked to the Texans' advantage at this late stage in the season.
"It was big for Keke to get what he got and just continue to grow each and every week," Watson said.
Coutee, Watson and the Texans will face the Bears in Chicago next Sunday.