Texans rookie baffles Patriots with unbelievable touchdown catch in preseason game


The NFL has its first wacky touchdown grab of the 2023 season. 

During the Houston Texans-New England Patriots preseason Week 1 matchup on Thursday night, Texans rookie wide receiver Tank Dell never gave up on a play in the end zone, and it paid out in ridiculous fashion.

When Davis Mills dropped back, he launched a back-shoulder pass to the left pylon, where Dell turned his body to try and grab. Dell tried to haul it in, but couldn’t corral it at first with the Patriots’ defense barreling in to make the stop. 

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Tank Dell #13 of the Houston Texans looks on during the first quarter of the preseason game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on August 10, 2023 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

But the ol’ tip drill occurred as the ball bounced high in the air, and Dell was the first to track it down. 

With one hand, he hauled it in against his body while he was flat on the turf, using his right leg to assist in the reception. The referee, standing right there to get a good look at the play, raised his arms to signal a touchdown right before the end of the first half. 

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From the sidelines to the crowd, no one could believe Dell came away with the reception, but nonetheless it gave the Texans a 7-3 lead before heading to the locker room. 

Dell is an easy player to root for on the Texans’ roster this training camp. The Florida native had transferred from Independence Community College to the University of Houston, where he had two fantastic years in 2021 and 2022, tallying 1,329 and 1,398 yards respectively with 29 total touchdowns. 

Tank Dell runs with ball

Tank Dell #13 of the Houston Texans runs with the ball during the second quarter during the preseason game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on August 10, 2023 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

Both of those yards totals led Houston. 

The Texans wanted to keep that Houston magic going, selecting Dell in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft to add to their receiving corps. 

He may only stand at 5-foot-9, but he ran a 4.49 40-yard dash and has the ability to create separation and get open. Dell also clearly has the circus catch ability up his sleeve. 

Tank Dell runs

Tank Dell #13 of the Houston Texans runs with the ball during the second quarter during the preseason game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on August 10, 2023 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

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This was Dell’s first ever taste of NFL game action and he led the Texans with five receptions, and his 65 yards was the most by any WR thus far in preseason. He did all of this in one half. 



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