The Texans activated running back Buddy Howell from the reserve-COVID-19 list and he practiced for the first time Monday since the start of training camp.
Howell tested positive for COVID-19 when he reported, experiencing mild symptoms and has since recovered, according to league sources
Howell was re-signed during the offseason to a one-year contract with a maximum value of $1.8 million.
Before training camp, Howell discussed his preparations for the upcoming season and coach David Culley in a telephone interview.
"This is the best shape I've come in," Howell said. "I'm healthy and feeling good. I'm excited. You never want to get complacent. You always have to stay hungry. I'm excited to play for coach Culley. He cares about us as players on and off the field. That makes you want to play even harder for him and your teammates."
The deal includes a $1 million base salary, a $200,000 signing bonus and up to $300,000 in per-game active roster bonuses for a base value of $1.5 million plus not likely to be earned incentives.
The Texans signed Howell to a one-year deal rather than assign him a $2.133 million restricted free agent tender.
The former undrafted free agent from Florida Atlantic rushed for 64 yards on 16 carries last season and caught one pass for three yards. In three seasons for the Texans, Howell has recorded 16 special-teams tackles. He also blocked a punt last season.
"Special teams is definitely not for everyone," Howell said. "You have to be tough and you have to be ready for war. You can definitely tell that Nick Caserio cares a lot about investing in the special teams. You can see that from the players he has brought back and the players he's bringing in. It shows the importance the organization places on special teams."
Howell appeared in 56 percent of the Texans' special teams snaps last season after playing in 67 percent of the snaps on special teams two seasons ago.
Howell was originally claimed off waivers from the Miami Dolphins.
"I'm continuing to grow as a player in every way," Howell said. "I'm happy to be a part of what we're putting together here and helping us win games."
Aaron Wilson has covered the NFL for 20 years and has previously written for The Houston Chronicle and The Baltimore Sun. He’s on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL and Instagram: @aaronwilson7128