Nearly one year after suffering the worst injury of his football career, Tyler Ervin is back.
And he's dominating the Texans return game.
"I just go out there and expect to make as many plays as possible," Ervin said. "Obviously, coming off injury, I had to work really hard to get back to where I need to be. My main thing is I'm just happy to be playing because I'm healthy."
Through three games this season, Ervin is ranked third in the NFL in kickoff return yards (197) and fifth in kickoff return average (28.1). He is fifth in the league in punt return yards (90) and seventh in punt return average (10.0).
The road back has not been easy for Ervin, who underwent season-ending knee surgery last October. Ervin, injured in last year's Week 4 win against the Tennessee Titans. His parents flew in to help him in those early days of recovery.
"I was in the hospital for about two days afterwards just getting recovered and that stuff," Ervin said. "I couldn't get around on my own for maybe two weeks and then I transitioned to the crutches. Yeah, it was a long road but I'm glad it's done with and over."
The third-year running back and return specialist continued his rehab throughout the offseason, until training camp when he was medically cleared. Ervin secured his return role for both kickoffs and punts with his performance in camp.
"I had to go in with the mindset that nothing is ever given and just work hard," Ervin said.
In Week 1 at New England, Ervin set franchise records for most kickoff return yards (156) and highest kickoff return average (31.2) in a season opener among players with multiple returns. In Week 3 against the Giants, Ervin recorded 45 yards on three punt returns (15.0 average) and returned two kickoffs for 41 yards (20.5 average). His 27-yard punt return marked the longest punt return for the Texans since Week 5 of the 2017 season and was the second-longest of his career.