Nov 19, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA;  Houston Texans wide receiver Tank Dell (3) jumps in the stands and celebrates his touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in the second quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Recovered from injury and gunshot, Texans WR Tank Dell at OTAs

Houston Texans wide receiver Tank Dell took part in the team’s OTAs on Tuesday, less than a month after he suffered a minor wound in a shooting in Sanford, Fla.

In the incident, Dell, 24, was shot in the leg and hospitalized briefly.

Dell was one of 10 people wounded in a shooting outside of a nightclub, according to media reports from Florida. The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office said none of the victims’ injuries were life-threatening. A 16-year-old was arrested and charged with attempted homicide and other charges.

“Happy for Tank to get back out there. He went through a very tragic situation,” Texans coach DeMeco Ryans told reporters Tuesday. “We’re just happy that he’s here, happy that he’s back out being able to do what he loves doing and that’s playing football. It’s fun to see him running around. Being that same player he’s been before, making plays and being a dynamic player for us. Everyone is excited to see Tank.”

The Texans selected Dell in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft, and he went on to have a strong rookie season with 47 receptions for 709 yards and seven touchdowns over his first 11 games (eight starts). He suffered a broken leg early in a Week 12 game against Denver and missed the rest of the season.

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Duke Johnson (22) runs back a kick off against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

RB Duke Johnson retires from NFL after 8 seasons

Running back Duke Johnson, who played for the Cleveland Browns and three other teams across eight NFL seasons, announced his retirement on Sunday.

The pass-catching specialist was not on a team in 2023, last appearing in one game for the Buffalo Bills during the 2022 season.

“8 Years 4 teams with 1 goal in mind, create a better life for my family,” Johnson wrote in an Instagram post. “I never dreamed of being the all time leading rusher of my dream school or being somewhere on the list of all time players to come out of South FL. I just wanted an opportunity to play a game to provide a better life for my family and I was able to do just that. I want to thank each team for giving me the chance to play and represent your organization and all the fans that supported me through the highs and lows.”

Johnson, 30, racked up 3,519 rushing yards in three seasons at Miami and is still the Hurricanes’ all-time rushing leader.

He was drafted in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft by Cleveland and spent four seasons there. His career-best season came in 2017 when he gained 1,041 yards from scrimmage (348 rushing, 693 receiving) and totaled seven touchdowns.

After 97 career games (21 starts) with the Browns, Houston Texans (2019-20), Miami Dolphins (2021) and Bills (2022), Johnson finished his career with 2,265 rushing yards, 11 rushing touchdowns and 311 receptions for 2,870 yards and 12 touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; CBS analyst J.J. Watt on the field before Super Bowl LVIII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

J.J. Watt leaves door open (slightly) for potential return to Texans

J.J. Watt left the door open for a potential NFL comeback, although he admitted that the door is closing quickly.

Watt, who announced his retirement after the 2022 season, said at his charity softball game on Saturday in Houston that he’d suit up for the Texans if he was truly needed.

“I’m a very fortunate, lucky man, I have a beautiful wife, I have a beautiful son,” Watt said. “I’ve had 12 great years in this league and I’m very thankful to have walked away healthy and playing great.

“I told (former teammate and current Texans coach DeMeco Ryans) last year, I said, ‘Don’t call unless you absolutely need it, but if you ever do call, I’ll be there.’ And he knows not to call unless he absolutely needs it. This is the last year I’ll tell him that, because I’m not going to keep training the way I’ve been training, but he knows that if he ever truly does need it, I’ll be there for him. I don’t anticipate that happening — they’ve got a very good group.”

Watt, 35, played for the Texans from 2011-20 before finishing his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals (2021-22).

Houston bolstered its pass-rushing group by signing Danielle Hunter and Denico Autry, who last season recorded 16.5 and 11.5 sacks, respectively.

Watt is a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, five-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection. He was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame All-2010s Team.

Watt currently is an NFL analyst for CBS Sports.

–Field Level Media

Nov 19, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA;  Houston Texans wide receiver Tank Dell (3) celebrates his touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in the second quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Texans WR Tank Dell wounded in shooting, out of hospital

Houston Texans wide receiver Tank Dell suffered a “minor” injury in a shooting just after midnight Sunday, the team confirmed.

“We have been made aware that Tank Dell was a victim of a shooting in Sanford, Fla., last night,” the Texans said in a statement Sunday afternoon. “He sustained a minor wound but has been released from the hospital and he is in good spirits. We are in contact with him and his family and will provide more updates when appropriate but we ask that you please respect his privacy at this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the incident.”

Dell was one of 10 people wounded in a shooting outside of a nightclub, according to media reports from Florida. The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office said none of the victims’ injuries are life-threatening. A 16-year-old was arrested and charged with attempted homicide and other charges.

The venue said in a Facebook post that it was rented out for a private event Saturday night and the owners are still gathering information.

Dell, 24, is a native of nearby Daytona Beach. He had a strong rookie season in 2023, with 47 receptions for 709 yards and seven touchdowns over his first 11 games (eight starts), but he suffered a broken leg early in a Week 12 game against Denver and missed the rest of the season.

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; A detailed view of a Curcial Catch decal on a Houston Texans helmet on the sideline prior to the game against the New Orleans Saints at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Texans unveil first uniform redesign in franchise history

The Houston Texans unveiled four variations of new uniforms, the team’s first redesign since the expansion franchise began playing games in 2002.

The Texans said 10,000 surveys and 30 focus groups were utilized to guide the new uniform design.

In addition to their traditional deep steel blue and white uniform, the Texans revealed a “Battle Red” helmet with a new logo that the team says is inspired by bullhorns with a bullhead logo on the back.

Houston also will feature a light blue helmet as part of its Color Rush look, complete with “H-Town” on the front of its uniforms.

The Texans also featured a light blue “H” that is outlined in red on a dark blue helmet.

“Today, for the first time since 2000, we are so proud to reveal our new uniforms. They are even more special because they are inspired by and for our fans,” Texans owner Cal McNair said in a statement. “Our fans asked us to be more H-Town and we delivered. They were with us every step of the way and there’s truly something for everyone over the four uniforms.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 6, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Houston Texans running back Dare Ogunbowale (33) stands on the field before a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Texans re-signing RB Dare Ogunbowale

The Houston Texans are re-signing running back Dare Ogunbowale to a one-year contract, NFL Network reported on Sunday.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ogunbowale, who turns 30 on May 4, had eight carries for 35 yards and two catches for 18 yards in 12 games last season.

He also contributed by stepping up for an injured Ka’imi Fairbairn and kicking 29-yard field goal in November against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He also returned a pair of kicks while playing on special teams.

Ogunbowale has rushed for 457 yards and four touchdowns and added 80 catches for 576 yards and one score in 80 career games (eight starts) with the Washington franchise (2017), Buccaneers (2018-19), Jacksonville Jaguars (2020-21) and Texans.

–Field Level Media

Jan 21, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) against the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2024 AFC divisional round game at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Texans WR Stefon Diggs’ contract only for one season

New Houston Texans wide receiver Stefon Diggs will be a free agent following the 2024 season after having the final three years of his contract “wiped out,” ESPN reported Thursday.

Diggs will make $22.52 million in guaranteed money in 2024 after the Texans moved the $3.5 million he’s owed in 2025 to this season, per the report.

The Bills traded the four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver on Wednesday in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2025 NFL Draft. The Texans also get a 2024 sixth-round pick and 2025 fifth-round pick, per reports. The Bills’ second-rounder is via the Minnesota Vikings.

Diggs turns 31 in November but produced at a high level since the Bills acquired him from the Minnesota Vikings in 2020.

He and the Bills were at odds multiple times since he signed a four-year, $96 million contract with $70 million guaranteed in April 2022.

Diggs has 810 career catches for 9,995 yards and 67 touchdowns in 136 games (128 starts) with the Vikings (2015-19) and Bills.

Diggs joins an offense that now includes running back Joe Mixon, whom the Texans also traded for to bolster weapons for second-year quarterback C.J. Stroud. Tank Dell and tight end Dalton Schultz are also in place for 2024.

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) and Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) speak prior to the game against the New York Giants at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Bills GM: ‘Timing made sense’ for Stefon Diggs trade

Trading star wide receiver Stefon Diggs was not an easy decision, according to Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane.

“These moves are never easy — very hard, not made overnight, anything like that — but any time you make a move like this, as I said, very difficult, you’re doing it because you’re trying to win,” Beane said summarizing his thought process in dealing Buffalo’s four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver to the Houston Texans.

“Sometimes people may not see that. This is by no means the Bills giving up or trying to take a step back or anything like that. Everything we do, we’re trying to win, and we’re going to continue to do that. It’s April … we’ll continue to work on this roster and make sure we’re ready to play come September.”

The Bills are absorbing a massive dead cap hit — $31.1 million — to reset the depth chart at wide receiver. In return, Buffalo picked up a second-round pick in the 2025 draft.

Diggs, 30, had at least 1,100 yards in each of his four seasons with the Bills. But he hasn’t always lived a harmonious existence in Buffalo and spent part of last offseason away from the team in an apparent rift with the coaching staff.

Beane said “it’s not the first time we’ve been called to ask would we move him” but felt the timing and value was right before he stamped the trade with the Texans on Wednesday.

“I think with this move, as we’re talking with Houston in this case the last couple days, the value seemed to make sense and the timing made sense for them and for us,” Beane said.

The deal leaves quarterback Josh Allen with little familiarity in the WR room.

Before Diggs was traded, the Bills lost free agent Gabe Davis to the Jacksonville Jaguars and signed free agent Curtis Samuel. Khalil Shakir is the team’s top returning receiver with 39 receptions for 611 yards and two touchdowns in 2023.

Diggs led the NFL with 127 catches and 1,535 yards in his first season with the Bills in 2020. He totaled 37 TDs over four years as Allen’s go-to guy outside.

–Field Level Media

Jan 7, 2024; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) reacts after the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Texans’ futures close in on AFC elite with Stefon Diggs

The Houston Texans have spent the offseason strategically adding to their young roster in an effort to close the gap on their AFC competitors.

They took their boldest step with Wednesday’s trade for wide receiver Stefon Diggs. News of the deal with the Buffalo Bills caused oddsmakers to immediately adjust the futures markets for both teams, along with division, league and even Super Bowl odds.

When the offseason began, the Texans were +2000 at DraftKings to win the Super Bowl and +1100 to win the AFC Championship. Despite adding veteran running back Joe Mixon during the first few weeks of the new league season, Houston’s odds had lengthened a bit to +2500 and +1200, respectively, by March 25.

That all changed significantly with Wednesday’s blockbuster move, which will see the Texans send a 2024 second-round pick to the Bills while receiving a sixth-round pick this year and a fifth-round pick in 2025.

DraftKings told Field Level Media their oddsmakers immediately trimmed Houston’s Super Bowl odds to +1200, giving the Texans the seventh-shortest odds at the book. Meanwhile, their AFC title odds shifted to the fifth-shortest at +850 and their odds of winning the AFC North moved from +135 to +115.

The reaction was similar at other sportsbooks.

Houston’s Super Bowl odds shortened from +2200 to +1600 at BetRivers, where their AFC title odds moved from +1000 to +750. At BetMGM, the Texans’ odds moved from +1600 to +1500 and from +650 to +750, respectively.

BetMGM maintained the team’s Over/Under win total at 9.5 games, but the price moved from -100 to -145 on the Over and from -110 to +120 on the Under.

The impact was predictably the opposite for Buffalo’s futures.

After opening at +900 at DraftKings, the Bills are now at +1200 to win the Super Bowl. They have also moved from +475 to +700 to win the AFC, with the Texans now right behind them.

Buffalo’s Super Bowl odds moved from +1200 to +1400 at BetRivers. However, they went unchanged at BetMGM, where the Bills’ win total market also remained at 10.5 games. The price did shift from -120 to +100 on the Over and from +100 to -120 on the Under.

BILLS/TEXANS FUTURES (DraftKings)
Bills Super Bowl
–Opened: +900
–3/25: +1100
–Currently: +1200

Texans Super Bowl
–Opened: +2000
–3/25: +2500
–Currently: +1600

Bills AFC
–Opened: +475
–3/25: +550
–Currently: +700

Texans AFC
–Opened: +1100
–3/25: +1200
–Currently: +850

Bills AFC East
–Opened: +130
–3/25: +135
–Current: +160

Texans AFC South
–Opened: +160
–3/25: +135
–Currently: +115

The trade ends Diggs’ sometimes rocky tenure in Buffalo, where he has earned Pro Bowl honors all four seasons.

Buffalo entered the offseason $47 million over the salary cap and has lost multiple starters from the division championship roster.

Diggs turns 31 in November but has produced at a high level since the Bills acquired him from the Minnesota Vikings in 2020.

Houston’s financial commitment could be just one season because of the structure of guaranteed cash payouts. The Texans can part with Diggs after the 2024 season if desired without a cap hit because his $18 million salary for 2025, $19.1 million for 2026 and $14.5 million in 2027 isn’t guaranteed.

Diggs and the Bills were at odds multiple times since he signed a four-year, $96 million contract with $70 million guaranteed in April 2022. Almost exactly two years later, Buffalo hit reset at the wide receiver position.

Khalil Shakir, a fifth-round pick in 2022, is the top returning wide receiver from the 2023 season with 39 receptions for 611 yards and two touchdowns. In addition to Diggs, No. 2 receiver Gabe Davis (45 receptions, seven TDs in 2023) signed with the Jaguars in free agency.

Buffalo has added two receivers — Commanders free agent Curtis Samuel and former Falcons receiver Mack Hollins.

Samuel has four career 50-plus-catch seasons and had 126 total receptions the past two seasons. Diggs caught 215 passes for 3,613 yards and 19 touchdowns since he signed the new deal with the Bills on April 6, 2022.

Diggs has 810 career catches for 9,995 yards and 67 touchdowns in 136 games (128 starts) with the Minnesota Vikings (2015-19) and Bills.

Diggs joins an offense that, in addition to Mixon, also includes second-year quarterback C.J. Stroud, wide receivers Nico Collins, Tank Dell, Noah Brown and Robert Woods and tight end Dalton Schultz.

–Field Level Media

Aug 5, 2022; Houston, Texas, US; Houston Texans linebacker Neville Hewitt (43) signs autographs after training camp at the Texans practice facility.  Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Texans to sign LB Neville Hewitt

Free-agent linebacker Neville Hewitt is signing a one-year contract to rejoin the Houston Texans, ESPN reported on Wednesday.

Financial terms were not disclosed for Hewitt, who led the NFL in special teams tackles (14) last season with the Texans.

Hewitt, who turns 31 on April 6, totaled 440 tackles, 7.5 sacks, three interceptions and two forced fumbles in 129 career games (44 starts) with the Miami Dolphins (2015-17), New York Jets (2018-20) and Texans.

He entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2015.

–Field Level Media