Hilliard is re-signing with the Texans on a one-year, $1.25 million contract with $200,000 guaranteed, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. The Texans claimed Hilliard off waivers in mid-December, after he made 30 appearances for the Browns from 2018 to 2020. His only touches for Houston were kick returns, a task he also handled throughout much of his time in Cleveland. The contract suggests Hilliard will have a decent shot to make the Week 1 roster for a rebuilding Texans squad.
Hilliard will become an unrestricted free agent during the offseason. Hilliard started the 2020 season in the Browns' organization before finishing up with the Texans. He ascended to the top kickoff return spot for the final two weeks of the season and didn't play a snap on offense while with Houston. Hilliard will likely catch on with a team looking to add competition to its return game. The Louisiana native has averaged 23.1 return yards on 35 kickoffs during his three-year career.
Hilliard returned two kickoffs for 35 yards in Sunday's 37-31 loss to the Bengals. Hilliard was activated for the first time since being claimed by the Texans. He essentially replaced running back C.J. Prosise, who had been involved as a kick returner but was inactive for the game.
Hilliard was activated off the commissioner exempt list, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. Hilliard was claimed off waivers from the Browns earlier this month and could be ready to play Week 16 against the Bengals. With both Duke Johnson (neck) and C.J. Prosise (ankle) dealing with injuries, Hilliard may find himself involved before the end of the season.
The Texans claimed Hilliard off waivers from the Browns on Tuesday, Aaron Reiss of The Athletic reports. Hilliard played four games with Cleveland this season before being cut. In that stretch, he rushed nine times for 48 yards (5.3 yards per carry) and caught a two-yard pass. Hilliard could make his Texans debut in Sunday's game against the Colts, pending the necessary number of negative COVID-19 tests. He'll likely operate in a depth role, but this could be a chance for him to showcase his skills with hopes of landing a new contract this offseason.
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