Crucial Preseason Looms For Texans WR Coutee

A bit-part player during his time with Houston due primarily to injuries, entering a contract year can Keke Coutee save his Texans career?
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The Houston Texans' front office has shown that barring perhaps one or two standouts, not a single player on their current roster is impervious from being dropped. And one player who will have to really show up this summer or potentially run out of chances in Houston is Keke Coutee.

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The fourth-year receiver out of Texas Tech got off to a flying start his rookie year despite struggling with a persistent hamstring injury. Catching passes for 287 yards in 2018, including 109 yards in his first NFL outing, he capped off his debut year with 110 yards receiving and one touchdown in Houston's playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts. 

But 2019 didn't represent the step-up many had hoped for following a promising first season, with Keke recording just 254 yards and zero touchdowns receiving through nine appearances. 

Heading into 2020 it seemed his chances would be limited by the signing of fellow slot receiver Randall Cobb. However, injuries and a suspension to Will Fuller meant Coutee was once again called upon … and he put together a string of decent performances, including a 90-yard effort against the Tennessee Titans and 141-yards against, of course, the Colts.

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Finishing the season with 400 receiving yards and three touchdowns may have saved him from being one of the many roster turnover casualties upon the arrival of the new regime.

But he shouldn't rest on his laurels. 

General manager Nick Caserio brought in a cacophony of receivers including Andre Roberts, Chris Conley, Chris Moore, and rookie Nico Collins among others. As such, excepting  perhaps Brandin Cooks and Collins, nobody should assume they have assured themselves a roster spot. 

Coutee has shown bursts of real potential and explosiveness at times, but as now enters the final year of his rookie deal it's surely now or never for the former fourth-round pick's Texans career. 

If he can stay healthy, he has a real shot. Otherwise, don't be surprised if one of the few remaining Texans from the old regime is looking for a new team soon.

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