Tank Dell has been a revelation for the Houston Texans as a rookie. The 5’10”, 165-pound WR has had an unbelievable rapport with fellow rookie C.J. Stroud since Day 1.
After a week of fighting to be ready to play against the Denver Broncos, he was injured on a Dameon Pierce touchdown run. What do we know about Dell’s injury, and what could this mean for the Texans’ offense?
Tank Dell Injury Update
Dell was rolled up on by his own running back on an early-game touchdown run. Unfortunately, after the training staff initially came out, DeMeco Ryans slowly approached the injury.
As the game came back from break, the cart was out, and the training staff was elevating his leg on the cart.
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) December 3, 2023
Seeing the cart is never a good thing, but the Texans’ X (formerly Twitter) account quickly reported that Dell was questionable to return with an ankle injury.
The third-round pick is originally from Daytona Beach, Florida, but played his college ball at the University of Houston. Although Dell boasts a slight build, his speed and fluidity are a cheat code, particularly in a league that has legislated out the kind of physicality to bully smaller, faster offensive players.
Although Dell is a spark plug for Houston’s offense, Stroud is the engine. He distributes the ball without bias, which has led to career years for both Noah Brown and Nico Collins. Additionally, veteran WR Robert Woods can still contribute, and John Metchie III provides valuable depth.
In other words, if you can get open, Stroud will find you. Unfortunately, Dell is the best at uncovering.
Update (2:46 p.m. ET): The Texans downgraded Dell to OUT.
Update (4:01 p.m. ET): NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport posted on X that the Texans’ WR suffered a fractured fibula and will head to the IR.
Stroud and Collins were emotional after the game.
“You see your brother putting in so much work and be so helpful. One thing about Tank is he’s very unselfish, and to see him go out, the game of football is tough, man. It’s tough,” Stroud said.
“It’s cold. It’s not easy. I got to be there for him … I can try to be positive about it, but it’s tough, man. I’m hurt. I can’t sugarcoat it. I love my brother to death and I’m praying for him and I’m here for him no matter what.”
“Man, it hurt bad,” Collins said. “You don’t ever want to see someone get hurt. You see the hard work he puts in every single day. Hate to see one of our brothers go down like that.”
Fantasy Impact on Dell’s Injury
Fantasy football managers who have been reaping the benefits of Dell’s recent breakout fantasy performances could be holding their breath after the rookie wideout appeared to pick up an injury in the first quarter of their game against the Broncos.
Dell entered the game with four straight double-digit fantasy performances and could be a huge loss for Stroud. Dell entered Sunday’s game with 47 receptions for 709 yards and seven TDs, which could present an instant opportunity for Collins and Brown to see an expanded role in this passing attack if Dell misses any time in the coming weeks.