Free agent receiver Dez Bryant has been waiting for an ideal situation to unfold so he can make a triumphant return to the NFL this year.
That situation is now here, as the Houston Texans have a dire need following the season-ending injury to Will Fuller.
While everyone can agree that the Fuller injury — out for the year with a torn ACL — is terrible, the only thing left to do is look ahead and figure out the best way to proceed.
The solution is simple: Houston needs to reach out to Bryant and bring him in for the second half.
Bryant is in no way a similar player to Fuller. He’s not a burner. He won’t be going 73 yards to the house, beating out multiple defenders en route to the end zone. So, this wouldn’t be a move to “replace” Fuller in Houston’s offense.
However, it would be a move to compensate for the loss. DeAndre Hopkins and, to a lesser extent, Keke Coutee (when he’s healthy) have no problems stretching the field and challenging secondaries over the top.
But without another legitimate threat in the passing game, opposing defenses will be able to clamp down on Hopkins in a big way. Despite his limitations — Bryant certainly has lost a step and isn’t the same explosive playmaker he once was — the former Dallas Cowboys receiver is still a dangerous red-zone threat and possession receiver who demands attention.
Houston has everything it needs to make a deep run into the postseason. It has clearly bounced back from the 0-3 start, ripping off five straight games to take the lead in the AFC South.
The Texans have a dynamic front seven defensively as J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney wreak havoc up front. They also have developed a very good running game now that they’re feeding Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue more consistently.
Deshaun Watson is one of the best young quarterbacks in the game today. He’s clearly back to the incredible form that set multiple rookie records before his season-ending injury in 2017. Hopkins might be the best receiver in the game today.
Adding a player of Bryant’s caliber could be the move that puts Houston over the top. He’s not a star anymore, but as a No. 2 receiver he’d give the Texans another weapon, which would make the entire offense more formidable down the stretch.