Jean (6-3, 205), who ran a 4.52 40-yard dash at his college pro day, turned heads in training camp with acrobatic catches on a seemingly daily basis. He turned more heads with a solid preseason opener against the New York Jets.
Then, Jean injured his left shoulder in the second preseason game against New Orleans. Just like that, his rookie season was over before it even started. He was placed on injured reserve on Aug. 30.
“It was very disappointing,” Jean said on Thursday. “I’ve never been hurt before. I never really had to go through that, and it was very disappointing. You know, I didn’t get drafted, and I felt like I should’ve been a player who got drafted, and then I had to wait for the whole lockout to be over, and then when I finally got back to play football, I was doing good and then I got hurt. So it was just one of those situations where it’s like, ‘What did I do to deserve this?’ It was just a very hard time for me.”
During his lost season, Jean came to Reliant Stadium daily at 6 a.m. for rehab, followed by team meetings. It was monotonous, but he said it was important to him to stay involved even though he wasn’t playing.
“I just looked at it as like a redshirt year,” Jean said. “I got to learn the system, learn the plays, learn how to be a professional, watch the other guys who have been around for a long time and see how they handle it and just get mentally prepared for if I get a chance to be on the team and help the team, then I can know what to do.”
Jean was medically cleared on April 16, the day the Texans started their voluntary offseason workout program. But even before then, he was at Reliant just about every day, putting in extra work of his own throughout the offseason.
“I was just trying to get everything right and just being prepared for whatever comes,” he said. “With me, I’ve always been a hard worker at school and stuff like that, because I just want to be the best. I just want to maximize my potential, so I just always work as hard as I can because I feel like you’re going to get out what you put in.”
The Texans drafted two wide receivers in DeVier Posey and Keshawn Martin. There will be 10 receivers on the roster once the draft picks and three undrafted free agents are signed. Jean knows a heated competition is ahead, and he plans to “just leave it all on the field.”
Fans ask about Jean constantly, intrigued by his potential. Coach Gary Kubiak has even mentioned him a couple times in the last week as a young player to keep an eye on in the receiving corps.
“To me, I’m just happy that they’re asking for me,” Jean said. “I’m just happy that Coach Kub would say that about me, man, but really – I care about it, but really, I’ve got to prove myself. I’ve got to make plays.
“I’m very eager to get back on the field. It’s been a long time. I’ve never had this long of a break, so I’m just excited to get back to doing football stuff.”
Tags: DeVier Posey, Gary Kubiak, Keshawn Martin, Lestar Jean
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