Nico Collins is still looking for that elusive first touchdown catch.
"He's been close a couple of times," Offensive Coordinator Tim Kelly said.
Kelly rattles off a few of those instances for the rookie wide receiver: an offensive pass interference call on a catch in Week 1 against the Jaguars, another catch in the end zone ruled incomplete in Tennessee.
"The one in Tennessee, I think if the ball is called the other way, it's probably not getting reversed," Kelly said.
One month later, Collins is coming off his best game, logging career highs with five receptions and 69 yards receiving against the Seattle Seahawks. After a shoulder injury in Week 2 at Cleveland landed him on the Reserve/Injured list, causing him to miss three games, Collins has made steady progress in his return.
"He's doing a good job doing everything we're asking him to do," Kelly said. "We ask him to go in there and do some dirty work, we ask him to go block, obviously being a bigger body down in the red area trying to find ways to take advantage of his skillset down there. He's a guy that every week you see him when he's out there, especially since he's gotten back after the Cleveland game. After the injury, he's done a good job at improving, so he's a guy that sticks out in the game plan to prepare with."
A third-round draft pick out of Michigan, Collins is averaging 12.9 yards per catch and has started the last three games for the Texans. Throughout the offseason, Collins stayed after practice with rookie QB Davis Mills to catch more passes, and the two would work on their respective crafts. Now, Collins is working on fine-tuning his skills with the smaller details of his game, from creating separation on defensive backs to his footwork.
He hopes the attention to detail and the extra work leads to that first touchdown, whenever that may be.
"I'm real anxious, but it comes with time, patience," Collins said. "When my time comes, it comes. I am going to keep working. Working on small things and whenever my number is called in the end zone, it's going to come."
Through 10 games with five starts, Collins has caught 23 passes for 297 yards. Collins and the Texans will next head to Jacksonville for a Week 15 rematch with the Jaguars. Sunday's kickoff is set for noon CT from TIAA Bank Stadium.
Catch the Texans at NRG Stadium on December 26 when they take on the Los Angeles Chargers. Kickoff is set for noon CT. Click here for tickets.