Houston Texans rookie wide receiver Nathaniel Dell has been one of the breakout rookie stars of the NFL season. And, while he’s been colloquially referred to by his nickname, Tank, he is going to go by Tank for good now, as he has filed the paperwork with the league office to make such a change.
The nickname Tank is kind of an oxymoron, when you think about it. Of all the NFL players who could be reasonably nicknamed Tank, Dell would fall way down the list.
That’s because the diminutive wide receiver is just 5-foot-8-inches tall and weighs 160lb. That makes him one of the smallest players in the National Football League, a fry cry from a tank.
Nonetheless, he’s been quite effective so far for the Houston Texans and fellow rookie quarterback CJ Stroud. For the season, he’s caught 42 passes for 659 yards and six touchdowns. That’s a 1,105 yard and 9 touchdown pace for an entire season.
And, Sunday’s 21-16 win against the Cardinals was his best game yet. He had 8 catches for 149 yards and a touchdown. Getting that kind of value out of a third-round pick is quite the coup.
Monday seemed like a good time to file the paperwork that would change his official league name from Nathaniel to Tank, apparently.
“One of the funnier notes I can recall seeing on the NFL transaction wire: ‘Please note that the football name of Houston’s Nathaniel Dell, WR, Houston (Player ID #55934) has been
changed to Tank Dell.’ So it’s official: Goodbye, Nathaniel. Hello, Tank,” NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted.
According to the Houston Chronicle, he got his nickname as a youngster from his mom, who called him Tank Head because his head was a lot bigger than the rest of his body.
Now, “Tank” Dell will turn his attention to the team’s week 12 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. A win would put the surprising 6-4 Texans into first place in the AFC South by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker.