Texans WR Tank Dell Opens Up on Shooting Incident: ‘Wrong Place, Wrong Time’

    Tank Dell opened up for the first time about the April shooting incident, which left the Texans wide receiver with a minor wound.

    Tank Dell is entering his second NFL season in a “blessed” state, as the Houston Texans wide receiver described on Tuesday.

    The 2023 rookie was injured in a shooting on April 28 during a private event held in Sanford, Fla., suffering a minor wound.

    When speaking to reporters at minicamp, Dell addressed what happened that night.

    Tank Dell Comments About Shooting

    Dell first opened up about the shooting alongside teammate C.J. Stroud during their appearance on the “Million Dollaz Worth of Game” podcast.

    “First off, I’m blessed,” Dell began. “To me, it was just wrong place, wrong time.”

    Dell explained how he ended up getting involved in the shooting, revealing he was invited to a pool party and was told there would be a security presence there.

    “I went back to see my mom,” he shared. “I wasn’t even planning to go back and go to the little pool party or whatever. But my boys found out I was home, so they hit me up. They was like, ‘Pull up to the party.’ They told me there was going to be security, people getting checked at the door, stuff like that, so I’m like, ‘all right, cool.’ It’s a good vibe, and there were a lot of people that I knew in there, so it was cool.”

    But as he detailed next, “Then that (expletive) just popped off out of nowhere. It just went south out of nowhere.”

    Dell first thought he completely removed himself from the picture. He unfortunately sustained a wound to his leg. Fortunately for Dell, it was a flesh wound and he’s made a quick recovery.

    Along with addressing the situation with Stroud, Dell spoke with members of the Houston media about what he recalled that night. Dell found himself asking if he would continue to play the sport he loves.

    “The only thing I was asking [was] am I going to be all right to play football? Like, that was my main thing,” Dell said Tuesday. “Will I be OK to run and play football like I’d been doing?”

    Dell became thankful he escaped with only a minor ailment. Still, the Daytona Beach native knows how lucky he really is.

    “It’s just a blessing that I’m safe,” said Dell. “But it’s a traumatic experience.”

    Revisiting Dell’s Rookie Campaign

    Before that horrific April evening in Florida, Dell was putting together a breakout rookie season while forming a dynamic tandem with Stroud.

    Dell exploded with 145 receiving yards on five catches in a 37-17 Week 3 romp of the Jacksonville Jaguars. From there, he added two more 100-yard outings while becoming a threat to catch six to eight passes per game.

    Dell snatched six receptions for 114 yards in a 39-37 shootout win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 8. He came back the following week matching the same number of receptions during a 30-27 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Then, he delivered eight catches for 149 yards over the Arizona Cardinals in a 21-16 win.

    Yet, his rookie season was truncated as during the Dec. 3 contest against the Denver Broncos, Dell broke his fibula in the first quarter and went on to miss the final six regular season games.

    In the process, he watched the Texans go on to snatch the AFC South crown and advance to the Divisional Round of the AFC postseason.

    Dell’s Outlook for the 2024 Season

    While he built a strong rapport with Stroud and is completely healthy for the 2024 season, Dell is walking into a more crowded WR room.

    In Dell’s absence, Nico Collins emerged as a 1,000-yard wideout for Houston. Collins has since signed a three-year, $72.75 million contract following his career-best 80 catches for 1,297 yards last season.

    But Houston now finds itself with an embarrassment of riches at WR. The team pulled off a blockbuster trade to acquire Stefon Diggs from the Buffalo Bills on April 3. By reeling in Diggs, the Texans now have a four-time Pro Bowler paired with Collins.

    Does this mean Dell is already the odd man out in the Houston offense?

    While it’s easy to believe Diggs and Collins will battle for the mantle of Stroud’s go-to wideout, Dell still plays a vital role in opening this offense up. With his short-area quickness, the incoming second-year pro takes the load in the slot. His presence also provides more one-on-one possibilities for both veteran wide receivers and less bracket coverage on Diggs or Collins.

    Houston clearly added Diggs to further expand on the available fireworks at Stroud’s disposal.

    With the Texans becoming a pass-oriented crew under offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik, expect Dell to earn his share of touches, which could signify an improvement from his 47-catch, 709-yard rookie campaign if he stays healthy.

    It’s already a blessing for Houston that a minor gunshot wound won’t prevent Dell from taking the field.

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