How Will Fuller's return from ACL injury boosts Texans' offense

How Will Fuller's return from ACL injury boosts Texans' offense

Imagine what quarterback Deshaun Watson and wide receiver Will Fuller could do if they played together for 16 games.

In the 11 games Fuller has played with Watson during the last two seasons, he has 11 touchdown catches. Fuller hasn't had a problem with dropped passes since his rookie year of 2016 when Brock Osweiler was his quarterback.

Like Watson a year ago, Fuller is recovering from a torn ACL. He should be 100 percent for the start of training camp, but the Texans will probably be overly cautious as they are with all players coming off major surgery.

"I think he's doing really well," coach Bill O'Brien said recently. "He's on a good track. He's been in here every day. He works very hard. With his work ethic and his mindset – I'm not going to put a timetable on it – but I feel like he's really moving in a good direction."

Fuller should be on the same timetable as Watson was. After Fuller suffered the injury in a victory over Miami, Watson said he would keep a close eye on his receiver and offer support and encouragement during his rehabilitation since he went through an ACL recovery two times, including once at Clemson.

"I'm sure he talks to those guys," O'Brien said about Fuller's teammates. "I don't want to answer for him, but I think he's got some really good teammates to rely on. We've got a good medical staff, good strength staff and Will has, really, an excellent work ethic. So, I think all of those things combined, I think he's on the right track."

Fuller is approaching his fourth season. In three seasons, he's started 30 of a possible 31 games when healthy. He's missed the rest because of injuries.

Last season, Fuller had 32 catches for 503 yards and four touchdowns. He averaged a career-best 15.7 yards per catch. That projects to 73 receptions for 1,149 yards and nine touchdowns as well as a career-high 15.6 yards a catch.

If Fuller and second-year slot receiver Keke Coutee can stay healthy and play with DeAndre Hopkins, there's no telling how good the Texans' passing game can be.


Source: HoustonChronicle | John McClain | April 2, 2019