Tight ends step up in Texans passing game

The Texans have dealt with multiple injuries at wide receiver this season, but the tight end group collectively stepped up in Sunday's loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Houston's tight ends were 11-of-11 for 151 yards receiving in the 24-21 loss. Ryan Griffin had a team-high 80 yards on five catches. Rookie Jordan Akins added two first-quarter catches for 40 yards while Jordan Thomas caught four passes for 31 yards.

"I thought (Ryan) Griff(in) obviously had a good game yesterday," head coach Bill O'Brien said Monday. "Jordan Thomas made a big fourth-down catch. Jordan Akins did some real nice things, had a big play early in the game to kind of spark us on that first touchdown drive. Those guys are talented. Relative to how we operate offensively, sometimes they don't get the opportunities because of how we try to do things, especially in the passing game, but yesterday they were able to get the ball in the passing game and it really helped us."

Tight ends made big plays, including the two longest offensive gains of the game. Griffin made a spectacular 47-yard catch-and-run in the fourth quarter to set up Deshaun Watson's touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins. In the first quarter, Akins made both of his catches to extend the scoring drive that resulted in Alfred Blue's three-yard touchdown run.

"Jordan's a very versatile guy," O'Brien. "There's no doubt about that. Obviously, he's a tight end, but you saw him yesterday – he lined up out wide, he lines up in the slot, he lines up in the backfield. Very smart guy, can do a lot of different things."

With rookie Keke Coutee still dealing with a hamstring injury, kick returner DeAndre Carter took on a bigger role in the offense. However, after a big hit in the first quarter, Carter was evaluated for a concussion and did not return.

The Texans tight ends accumulated the third-most receiving yards (151) by the position group in a single game in franchise history and the most since Joel Dreesen (112) and Owen Daniels (89) combined for 201 receiving yards vs. Oakland in Week 5 of the 2011 season.

The (9-4) Texans will next travel to MetLife Stadium to face the (4-9) Jets on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. CT on NFL Network and SportsRadio 610.

The Houston Texans took on the Indianapolis Colts for Week 14 of the 2018 NFL Season.

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