Strong, who has endured a disappointing, injury-plagued start to his NFL career, rededicated himself this offseason, losing weight and focusing more on film study. With the added work, as well as injuries to fellow wideouts Will Fuller (collarbone) and Braxton Miller (ankle), Strong has received more reps lately, particularly with star teammate DeAndre Hopkins being rested. While it's encouraging to hear that the former third-rounder seems to be turning the corner, he'll need to first prove his worth during the regular season before gaining the trust of fantasy owners.
Strong caught his lone target for 18 yards in Wednesday's 27-17 preseason loss to the Panthers.
Strong, who was one of 16 Texans to catch a pass Wednesday, started the game as part of a three-wideout set. Strong and DeAndre Hopkins started at wide receiver while Braxton MIller started in the slot. In the first game without Will Fuller (collarbone), neither Strong nor Miller stood out. Those two are considered the top candidates to start in place of Fuller when the regular season kicks off.
Strong will be a candidate to start opposite DeAndre Hopkins after second-year wideout Will Fuller suffered a broken collarbone in Wednesday's practice, Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com reports. Fuller is expected to miss up to three months.
The Texans have a bevy of wideouts in camp, but Fuller's replacement will come down to Strong or Braxton Miller or both. Each is a third-round draft selection, Strong in 2015 and Miller a year later. Neither receiver distinguished himself in 2016, so this should be viewed as a pretty even competition over the next few weeks. Strong has more experience, having played the position longer than Miller, who is entering just his third season overall playing wide receiver after making the transition from quarterback at Ohio State. We should get our a first read on the situation Aug. 9 when the Texans open the preseason with a game at Carolina.
Texans wide receivers coach John Perry envisions Strong operating as a red-zone threat in 2017, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. "I've been really impressed by what [Strong's] done. He's a bigger guy. That's what he has to do," Perry said. "The guy where you put the ball up as a bigger receiver and have him go up there and get it. I see him doing that for us."
Strong has worked hard during the offseason, getting his weight down below 200 pounds and putting more work in in the film room. Entering training camp, he's fourth on the wideout depth chart, but there's no reason Strong can't move ahead of Braxton Miller, particularly if he shows an ability to win the 50-50 balls to which Perry alluded. Even if Strong moves up the depth chart, the greater question is what type of offense we'll see from the Texans. With an inexperienced quarterback -- whether that's Tom Savage or Deshaun Watson -- behind center, the Texans could be heavily reliant on the ground game.
Strong's dedication to football and improved diet have drawn positive reviews ahead of training camp, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Strong, a third-round pick in 2015, has underwhelmed through his first two NFL seasons, hauling in only 28 balls for 292 yards and three touchdowns. Such ineffectiveness resulted in Strong ceding snaps to rookies Will Fuller and Braxton Miller last season, but in an effort to improve his standing with the team, the third-year wideout altered his diet this offseason and now reportedly weighs just under 200 pounds. Additionally, Strong has spent extra time in the film room and put increased focus on improving his conditioning. Overall, that sharpened mindset has the Texans' coaching staff excited to see what's to come from Strong in 2017.
|P3||8/26/17||@ NO||8:00 pm|
|2||9/14/17||@ CIN||8:25 pm|
|3||9/24/17||@ NE||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 7|
|8||10/29/17||@ SEA||4:05 pm|
|10||11/12/17||@ LAR||4:05 pm|
|12||11/27/17||@ BAL||8:30 pm|
|13||12/3/17||@ TEN||1:00 pm|
|15||12/17/17||@ JAC||1:00 pm|
|17||12/31/17||@ IND||1:00 pm|