Karim happy to be back with Texans

Karim happy to be back with Texans
October 31, 2013, 10:00 am
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(USA Today Images)

Deji Karim was at his home in Oklahoma for the past eight weeks working out, running, waiting. Finally, he’s back in the NFL.

Karim was one of three running backs the Texans signed on Monday. All three – Karim, Dennis Johnson and Ray Graham – spent training camp in Houston.

“Yeah, it feels like I never left, really,” Karim said on Wednesday. “Great group of guys and it’s good to be back. It really is good to be back.”

As Karim worked out and waited for the phone to ring this season, he found himself in a familiar predicament. He was out of the league until the Colts called him during Week 15 last year.   

“It’s always tough not knowing,” he said.

Karim started his NFL career with the Jaguars in 2010. The sixth-rounder from Southern Illinois ran the ball 98 times for 290 yards in his two seasons in Jacksonville but he also returned 77 kicks for an average of 25.9 yards per return.

Karim, 26, spent this training camp with the Texans but was beaten by Cierre Wood for the third running back spot.

Karim’s biggest play as a Colt in his brief time in Indy was a huge play against the Texans. Karim returned a kickoff 101 yards in the Colts’ Week 17 win over the Texans last season. But the Colts didn’t bring him back and the Texans invited him to training camp.

“Yeah. They told me I couldn’t play, they let me walk,” Karim said about the Colts. “So there is a little motivation to get the W vs. them.”

When asked about the three new running backs on the roster, head coach Gary Kubiak mentioned Karim’s experience. He’s the only one of the three who isn’t a rookie and might actually get some playing time on Sunday because of it. Arian Foster (hamstring) and Ben Tate (ribs) will both be end-of-the-week decisions and Karim would likely be the next guy up.

He said the team hasn’t talked to him about what his role might be on Sunday but claimed he’s ready to help in any way. Keshawn Martin has been the team’s primary kick and punt returner but has a shoulder injury and hasn’t been great either. Kubiak said Karim has the capability to return and Karim is more than open to doing it.

But really, Karim is just happy to be back with a team. He missed it.

“A lot. I missed it a lot,” he said. “There’s nothing like this, being around every Sunday, playing every Sunday. You miss it a lot.”