In the Houston Texans' 30-16 win in Jacksonville, Rex Burkhead finished with a team-high 41 yards rushing on 16 carries and one catch for six yards, despite dealing with a hip injury and heavy rain.
"The rain started pouring down, so we knew the run game was going to have to be a focus for us, something we establish and be physical at the point of attack with and we did that," Burkhead said Monday. "It wasn't always easy yards, it was definitely some grinding times, but I thought the line did a tremendous job and T.K. (Tim Kelly) with the play calling enabling us to get some of those creases in spaces to get some good yards in critical times throughout the game."
Just days earlier, Burkhead's status for the game looked as bleak as the weather forecast in Jacksonville. In his Wednesday press conference last week, Head Coach David Culley said that Burkhead "won't be able to go" due to the injury suffered against Seattle that caused him to leave the game. The nine-year veteran did not practice Wednesday and was limited the rest of the week, listed as questionable for Week 15.
"This time of year, everybody's got bumps and bruises, so you just do your best to be able to get out there on the field and perform the best that you can to the highest ability that you can," Burkhead said. "Our staff here, the trainers, the people in the weight room do a tremendous job just making sure we're as good as we can be for gameday. Being a veteran in this league, I've learned some things to recover faster and just get my body in the best shape possible for games. I take that knowledge and approach every single day."
Burkhead's statistics may not have been flashy in the Texans' win, but he made some key plays for a first-down conversion on scoring drives. His three-yard gain on 3rd-and-2 in the second quarter extended the drive that resulted in a 52-yard field goal. On Houston's final offensive series, QB Davis Mills handed the ball off to Burkhead for five consecutive runs before setting up a short pass to Brandin Cooks for the touchdown that put the game out of reach for the Jaguars.
"Rex is a fighter," Mills said. "We're willing -- he's the guy when we need to drive down the field and trust someone with the ball in his hand; Rex is the guy. He's able to do what's best for the team. And when we were having to drive the ball down in that four-minute mode trying to eat the clock, he was running hard. You could see him get up and come back to the huddle just determined to go out and win that game."
Through 13 games this season with two starts, Burkhead has rushed for 207 yards on 72 carries for one touchdown. He has also caught 14 passes for 112 yards.
See Burkhead and the Texans host the Los Angeles Chargers this Sunday at noon CT inside NRG Stadium. Click here for tickets.
Check out the best photos from the Houston Texans Week 15 matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars.