Akins is capable of playing both slot and wide receiver if the Texans need that. "Jordan's a very versatile guy. There's no doubt about that. Obviously, he's a tight end, but you saw him [Sunday] - he lined up out wide, he lines up in the slot, he lines up in the backfield. Very smart guy, can do a lot of different things," said coach Bill O'Brien.
Akins' ability to play off the line of scrimmage could come in handy for the Texans, who are dealing with injuries to Keke Coutee (hamstring) and DeAndre Carter (concussion) as they prepare for Week 15 against the Jets on Saturday.
Akins caught both of his targets for 40 yards in Sunday's 24-21 loss to the Colts.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson has increased the use of the tight ends in recent weeks and targeted the three-man group of Akins, Ryan Griffin and Jordan Thomas 11 times in the loss. Houston is dealing with injuries at wideout, which could lead to similar targeting Week 15 against the Jets. Of the three, Griffin leads in targets while Thomas is the touchdown leader.
Akins caught one 13-yard pass during Sunday's 29-13 win over the Browns.
Akins has now been targeted seven times over his past four games following just 11 targets in his first eight games. He hasn't been able to produce much during his rookie season, but the Texans have an interesting tight-end room, all three targets have produced equally modestly, with between 13 and 15 catches and 152 and 203 yards among the each of the three of them. Akins brings up the bottom on both those stats, but the fact remains that Houston hasn't utilized the tight end much this season. Don't expect that to change Sunday against an average Indy pass defense.
Akins did not catch any of his three targets in Sunday's 19-17 win over Denver.
This was the third consecutive game without a reception for Akins, whose 36 snaps on offense were the most since Week 4. With the Texans caught short at wide receiver, all of Houston's tight ends got significant playing time, and Akins brought up the rear behind Ryan Griffin (47) and Jordan Thomas (39). He's received increased playing time of late due to injuries at wide receiver, but quarterback Deshaun Watson rarely looks his way. His three targets Sunday equaled the number of targets he had over the previous four games. Houston has its bye week coming up, which will give Keke Coutee (hamstring) time to heal heading into Week 11 against Washington. Whenever Coutee returns, we expect Akins' playing time to take a hit.
Akins and fellow tight end Jordan Thomas will fill in for Ryan Griffin (illness, out) on Thursday against the Dolphins, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.
The rookie tight end tandem filled in for Griffin last week as well and had a combined one target. Houston's coaches have talked about getting the tight end position more involved, but it just never materializes. Akins has 11 targets in seven games, and we expect a similar rate of attention Thursday. With Deshaun Watson playing through a chest injury and facing the NFL's 29th-ranked rushing defense, Houston's game plan will be about getting the ball in the hands of running back Lamar Miller.
|15||12/15/18||@ NYJ||4:30 pm|
|16||12/23/18||@ PHI||1:00 pm|