A day after releasing veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason, the Texans signed rookie wide receiver Jeff Maehl from their practice squad to the active roster.
Maehl (6-0, 178), an undrafted rookie from Oregon, will be Texans' fourth wide receiver while Andre Johnson is out with a hamstring injury. He also will play on special teams, a primary reason the Texans released the 37-year-old Mason in favor of a younger receiver.
"Jeff has been here now from the beginning of the season, so as far as knowing the offense and the concepts and things of that nature, we feel confident that he can go in and play several different positions for us," Texans wide receivers coach Larry Kirksey said. "At the same time, he can give us some support on special teams. We're not asking him to go out there and win a game for us by any means, but we think that he's done a great job of preparing himself and we felt like he's deserving of an opportunity."
Maehl had 178 career catches and 24 touchdowns at Oregon, tied for first in school history in both categories. He had 77 catches with 12 touchdowns as a senior last season. In the 2011 BCS Championship Game against Auburn, he had nine catches for 133 yards and a game-tying two-point conversion.
"He's a football player, number one," Kirksey said. "If you go back and look at Oregon, what he did, the guy was productive. He doesn't have great speed (4.62 40-yard dash), but he has good playing speed and has good hands and has good awareness and he knows how to play the game. That's what's important. That's why we really liked the young man (after the draft)."
Bryant Johnson is now the Texans' third wide receiver until Andre Johnson returns. The Texans also re-signed wide receiver Juaquin Iglesias, a second-year pro from Oklahoma, to their practice squad.