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.
Hilliard was waived by the Browns on Sunday.
With starting offensive guard Wyatt Teller activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday morning, Hilliard became the odd man out on Cleveland's gameday roster. The 25-year-old has logged five appearances on the 2020 campaign, but he's had a limited offensive role, contributing just 50 scrimmage yards over 10 combined touches.
Hilliard (coach's decision) is officially inactive for Sunday's game against the Texans, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.
Hilliard had suited up in the past four games on special teams and as a depth running back, but with Nick Chubb (knee) returning from injured reserve, he seemingly has lost his role. With Hilliard sidelined, Chubb, Kareem Hunt and D'Ernest Johnson will handle running back duties for Week 10.
Hilliard had four carries for 29 yards and a team-high 7.3 yards per carry in Sunday's 38-7 loss to Pittsburgh.
Twenty-three of Hilliard's 29 yards came in the fourth quarter of Sunday's blowout, and the back remains No. 3 on the depth chart behind Kareem Hunt and D'Ernest Johnson. Hilliard was on the field for just seven of the Browns' 57 offensive snaps, all in garbage time.
Hilliard carried five times for 19 yards and caught his lone target for two yards in Sunday's 49-38 win over Dallas.
Hilliard was made active for the game as a potential kick returner, but he was needed in the backfield when Nick Chubb (knee) left the game early. The Browns operated a committee of backs with Hilliard joining Kareem Hunt and D'Ernest Johnson to finish off a 307-yard rushing day for the team (7.7 YPC). With Hunt on the injury report (groin) all week, the Browns opted for this committee approach in order to not overexpose him. If Chubb's injury proves to be serious and Hunt's groin responds well to Sunday's activity, then expect him to be the primary back Week 5 against the Colts, with Hilliard relegated to a depth role.
Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski said HIlliard's versatility and work during practice earned him a promotion to the active roster, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. "It's kind of looking at the roster in total,'' Stefanski said. "Dontrell has done a very nice job for us in all the looks that he's been doing so. He is a versatile football player."
The coach was asked Wednesday what motivated the decision to promote Hilliard, the implication being he could be a fill in as a returner for the injured JoJo Natson (knee) or an emergency option for Kareem Hunt (groin) who popped up on the injury report. Hilliard averaged 24.8 yards on 17 kickoffs and 7.1 yards on 15 punts last season.
The Browns promoted Hilliard to the active roster on Wednesday.
Hilliard stands to provide the Browns with emergency depth at running back while Kareem Hunt (undisclosed) nurses an injury that's been labeled day-to-day, per Scott Petrak of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram. He appeared in 14 games with the team last season.
Hilliard cleared waivers Sunday and signed with the Browns' practice squad, Adam Caplan of SiriusXM NFL Radio reports.
Hilliard played 14 games for the Browns last year, and he recorded 13 carries for 49 yards and two touchdowns while catching 12 of 15 targets for 92 yards. He also contributed as a return man. However, the Browns opted to keep just three running backs to begin the year, and D'Ernest Johnson beat out Hilliard for the final spot.
Hilliard was waived by the Browns on Saturday, Jake Trotter of ESPN.com reports.
Hilliard was a useful special teams piece for the Browns, logging 372 snaps over the last two seasons. Instead, the team opted to have unproven backs D'Ernest Johnson and Ben LeMay fill out the bottom half of the running back depth chart, though it's possible Hilliard could return to the team's practice squad if he makes it through waivers.
The Browns activated Hilliard (illness) from the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday.
Hilliard spent a bit over a week on the reserve/COVID-19 list after either testing positive for the virus or coming into contact with someone who did. Now having received clearance to return to practice, he'll turn his attention toward competing with D'Ernest Johnson for the No. 3 running back gig in Cleveland.
Hilliard was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.
As per the NFL and NFLPA's recent agreement on terms, players who test positive for COVID-19 are immediately placed on the league's new temporary and unlimited injured reserve. As such, Hilliard will be eligible to rejoin his teammates upon receiving medical clearance. The 25-year-old plays a key special-teams role for the Browns, and he stands to compete with D'Ernest Johnson for the No. 3 running back gig behind Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
Hilliard (knee) is healthy and set to compete for a depth running back role on the Browns, Andrew Gribble of the team's official website reports.
Hilliard injured his knee in Week 16 of last season and was unable to play in the regular-season finale. The injury was never considered serious and the Browns ultimately placed a contract tender on him during the offseason. While Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are expected to handle most of the workload in the backfield as the team's one-two punch, the 25-year-old Hilliard will compete against D'Ernest Johnson for the No. 3 spot on the depth chart. Both were core special teams players last season.
Hilliard (knee) will remain with the Browns after the team placed a contract tender on the exclusive rights free agent Monday.
Hilliard was injured in a Week 16 game against the Ravens with the knee injury and wasn't able to finish out the season. The 25-year-old was used sparingly in 2019, rushing for 49 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. With Nick Chubb under contract and Kareem Hunt retained via a second-round tender, Hilliard appears in line for a depth role again in 2020.
Hilliard (knee) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday.
Hilliard suffered the injury in Week 16's loss to the Ravens. He finishes the season with 13 rushing attempts for 49 yards and two touchdowns to go with 12 catches on 15 targets for 92 yards. The 24-year-old also amassed 528 return yards.
Hilliard (knee) won't return to Sunday's game against the Ravens, Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
Hilliard was forced to leave the game after a low hit from Marcus Peters, and the injury is serious enough to keep him out. D'Ernest Johnson should continue to see No. 3 running back reps, with Tavierre Thomas to handle kick return duties. Expect the team to have specifics on the injury in the coming days.
Hilliard (knee) is questionable to return to Sunday's game against the Ravens, Scott Petrak of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports.
Hilliard was flipped by Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters shortly after making a catch and immediately grabbed his knee. He left the game late in the second quarter, and as long as he's sidelined, look for D'Ernest Johnson to see No. 3 running back reps, and Tavierre Thomas to handle kick return duties.
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|16||Sun 12/27||vs CIN||L 31-37||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|17||Sun 01/03||vs TEN||L 38-41||0||0||0||0||0||0|
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