Veteran tight end Jordan Akins was equally joyful and relieved when he caught a touchdown pass from Texans quarterback Davis Mills on Sunday.
Elevated from the practice squad on Saturday, the former third-round selection hauled in a four-yard touchdown in the first quarter of a 23-20 road loss to the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
Although the Texans didn’t win the game, Akins contributed three catches for 31 yards, including a 25-yard reception, on four targets as he replaced injured tight end Brevin Jordan in the lineup. This marked Akins’ first touchdown in two seasons.
“It was wonderful, man,” Akins said. “Definitely a lot of stress off my back and off my chest. It had been a minute since I had been in there, almost two years.”
Akins rejoined the Texans after being released by the New York Giants in the wake of signing a one-year deal with them as an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Akins caught 24 passes for 214 yards on 33 targets in 13 games and three starts last season for the Texans.
The first pass from Mills to Akins was incomplete. Akins thought a defensive penalty was missed on the play.
“I think it was a hold, but you know how it goes,” Akins said. “The timing could have been a little bit better. Other than that, I thought, ‘I got to make it up and I made a big play. Thank God, the ball was in the air and I went up and made a play. I just got to keep stacking.”
He has 117 career receptions for 1,291 yards and four touchdowns, all with the Texans
Two seasons ago, Akins caught 37 passes for 403 yards and one touchdown.
“It all started here, old stomping grounds,” Akins said. “Very excited to get back here, new coach, new offense. I’m just happy, very humble. I think the sky is the limit for this team.”
Akins didn’t burn a bridge, never complaining last season when he was frequently inactive for games.
“That’s true,” Akins said. “You’ve got to be professional.”
He played 17 snaps overall, 29 percent of the offensive snaps against Chicago.
The Texans are off to an 0-2-1 start and seeking their first win of the season Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers.
“We need a win to get it going,” Akins said.
Aaron Wilson is a Pro Football Network reporter and a contributor to KPRC 2 and click2houston.com