HOUSTON – Houston, you have a Redbird.
Darlington native Alex Erickson will be changing teams for the first time in his National Football League career after signing a one-year contract to join the Houston Texans last week.
Erickson wrapped up his fifth NFL season as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals in January and became an unrestricted free agent when the new NFL season began on Wednesday, March 27.
Erickson joined the Bengals as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Wisconsin. In five seasons in Cincinnati, the former Redbird and Badger played in all 80 of the Bengals’ games.
Mainly used as a returner early in his career, he has amassed 2,672 yards on 108 kickoff returns and 1,074 yards on 135 punt returns during his career, while recording 93 career catches for 1,086 yards and a touchdown along with 18 rushes for 78 yards and one pass completion on two attempts for 26 yards. He has also registered eight career tackles.
Erickson, 28, finished the 2020 season ranked eighth overall in the NFL with 232 punt return yards and an average of 10.1 yards per return on his ninth-best 23 punt returns.
The 6’0” 195-pound wide receiver/return also caught 12 passes for 139 yards, ran five times for seven yards and returned three kickoffs for 71 yards during the 2020 season.
Erickson will remain in the AFC, joining a Texans’ team that finished 4-12 in 2020 to miss the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.
The Texans placed third in the AFC South behind the Tennessee Titans (11-5) and Indianapolis Colts (11-5). The Jacksonville Jaguars finished 1-15 last season.