Texans TE Jordan Akins takes QB Deshaun Watson getting hit ‘very personal’

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Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has taken 20 hits through the first two weeks of the NFL season.

The 34-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs netted seven hits, and the 33-16 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at an empty NRG Stadium produced 13. Every one of the hits did not sit well with third-year tight end Jordan Akins.

“I take it very personal,” Akins said. “That’s why when I get the ball in my hands, I try to run through anything I can.”

The Texans drafted Akins in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft. At 6-3, 243 pounds, Akins has the build to be a pass-catching tight end. However, the former minor league baseball player seeks to be a more complete tight end, and blocking is part of the game at that position.

“As a tight end standpoint, just getting a block, helping out in the passing protection, anything that we can do to protect Deshaun,” Akins said. “I feel like everyone has to do [better].”

Some criticism for the hits Watson has taken could be attributed to the two-time Pro Bowler, who has a predilection for extending plays to find better options for chunk plays downfield. However, Akins doesn’t believe it abrogates responsibility of the offensive line or other components of the blocking unit from protecting Watson.

“It’s just not on Deshaun,” Akins said. “It’s the entire offense as a whole. We’re working on it and we’re looking forward to how we progress in the future.”

Akins has caught nine passes for 94 yards and a touchdown through the first two weeks of the season. The former UCF Knight also averages 5.7 yards after the catch per reception. In addition to his receiving skills, Houston will need Akins’ blocking prowess as they seek to earn their first win against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday at Heinz Field.