Texans wide receiver Keke Coutee had been a favorite among fantasy football players, but unfortunately, he sustained a leg injury in Houston’s first preseason game against Green Bay. Coutee was running with the football when a Packers defender tackled the receiver, and his leg buckled underneath his body. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Coutee sustained an ankle injury that does not appear to be major.
“An ankle injury that, based on the early returns, is not considered a major one,” Rapoport tweeted.
Houston Chronicle’s John McClain described the scene after the injury.
“Coutee caught a pass from Joe Webb, and Coutee is down. He’s in pain. Doctors are with him. It doesn’t look good…It’s Coutee’s lower right leg. He’s being helped off by Dr. Walter Lowe and head trainer Geoff Kaplan…Coutee is being carted to the dressing room. It looks like his right knee. DeAndre Carter, the backup slot receiver behind Coutee, hasn’t practiced in camp because of an injury. He’s supposed to return next week,” McClain tweeted.
After flashing during his rookie season, many had high expectations for Coutee’s sophomore NFL campaign. Coutee had been generating a lot of fantasy buzz as a potential late-round sleeper given his opportunities next to DeAndre Hopkins. Coutee missed time during his rookie season with a hamstring injury.
During the Offseason, Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien Emphasized Keke Coutee’s Need to Stay Healthy
Prior to the injury, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien made some pointed comments to The Athletic about Coutee’s need to stay healthy. The Athletic’s Aaron Reiss detailed O’Brien’s comments about the young receiver.
At league meetings in March, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said Coutee’s injury troubles ‘can’t really happen again, where you’ve got a guy that’s an excellent player and he missed three-quarters of the season with a hamstring.’
Both O’Brien and Coutee admitted they believed the pre-draft training process contributed to his hamstring issues. Coutee noted that he went through intensive training for the NFL Combine drills, a common practice for prospects entering the draft.
“That played a role,” Coutee explained to The Athletic. “I was training for drills. I wasn’t training for the actual game, the actual volume that comes along with training camp and OTAs and things like that. If you’re training for a 40-yard dash, then you’re not training to just run routes against guys every day in training camp. Pretty soon, you’re going to realize it’s a long season. Guys bump and grind so much. Just making that change to that next level is a real big transition. You have to make sure you’re prepared.”
One Former NFL Team Doctor Suspects Coutee Sustained an MCL Injury
Former NFL team doctor David Chao offered his medical opinion after watching the video. Chao suggested it could be an MCL injury, but it is important to note that he is basing this off the video clip.
“At an ‘off to college’ dinner but by this cellphone video, appears to be right knee MCL sprain. Not good, but not surgical or season ending. Of course, hampers start of season,” Chao tweeted.
Koutee had an ADP (average draft position) of No. 120, per Fantasy Pros and is considered to be a late-round steal given his upside. It sounds like Coutee may escape with a minor injury on a play that looked serious.