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While you were sleeping: Texans QB C.J. Stroud 'was actually asleep' when Stefon Diggs news broke

Getting ready for Pro Bowl Games practice back in February, Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud was excited about the franchise building on its surprising 2023 success with its returning talent and some hopeful additions.

The savvy signal-caller wasn't about to opine just who or what areas of need should be addressed, but it turns out he had already gotten to meet a future teammate, new Texans wide receiver Stefon Diggs.

Unsurprisingly, Stroud is plenty thrilled to have Diggs added to Houston's WR room.

"I was very excited," Stroud told reporters Monday, via team transcript, about acquiring Diggs, a former Buffalo Bill and Minnesota Viking. "I met him at the Pro Bowl -- got to meet each other, got to meet his kids and to see what type of person he was. Just been able to grow our relationship from there. It's really cool just to be able to go from not only that scene to now -- him being a teammate of mine. Just really excited to get to work with him."

Stroud, the reigning AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, and Diggs were AFC Pro Bowl Games teammates and are now united in the Texans' attempt to repeat as AFC South champions.

For Texans fans, seeing Diggs added to a wide receiver corps that already boasts Nico Collins, a returning Tank Dell and John Metchie III, it's a dream-like scenario. For Stroud, the Diggs trade -- or at least news of it -- came together while he was sleeping. He awoke to some franchise-altering news.

"I was actually asleep," Stroud said. "I was asleep -- I've been on the West Coast. I've been back home in L.A., so I was knocked out. I keep my phone on 'Do Not Disturb.' I get a lot of phone calls. So, I didn't really know. I woke up and my boy Chase B texted me and he's like, 'How are you feeling, bro?' And I'm thinking he's like asking me and I'm like 'I'm good, fam. How are you?' I had sent like five texts like that and then I woke up for real this time. I was kind of like halfway texting in the bed. Woke up, brushed my teeth, washed my face and then I saw the news. I saw it on Instagram and I'm like, 'Oh, shoot. That's what they're talking about.'"

Stroud and Co. no doubt hope to have plenty of people talking about the Texans again next season.

Seventh in the NFL in passing yards for 2023, the Texans are welcoming back offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik. Stroud, who threw for 4,108 yards and 23 touchdowns in 15 games, led Collins to a career season with 80 receptions for 1,297 yards and eight touchdowns. Dell also shined in 11 games before he was lost to a broken fibula, turning in 47 grabs for 709 yards and seven TDs.

"Tank is back and he's starting to get in with our guys here with the offseason programs," Stroud said. "So, I'm excited to have Tank back. That was a devastating loss for us last year, losing him. He's such a dynamic player for us, such an inspiration for myself, a lot of our team. So, I'm excited to see Tank back working with our guys."

Though he played in 16 games a season ago, Metchie should be a full-go for the first time, having lost all of 2022 after a leukemia diagnosis.

"I think last year was good to get his feet back in the water coming off of an injury then something so traumatic like being sick how he was," Stroud said. "His mindset is that he's just ready to come back and ball. Not only is he a great football player, but he's a great person and I wouldn't want anybody else other than those guys in that room. Metchie is looking amazing. Everything that he will put on this field will be no surprise, but I think everybody in this room knows how special he can be, and he'll put that on the field."

And, of course, now a four-time Pro Bowler is in the building. Though Diggs had a somewhat sub-par showing in 2023 by his standards, it was still his sixth straight 1,000-yard campaign and his fourth year in a row with 100-plus catches (fifth overall).

"He adds a ton of value to that room," Stroud said. "There's a lot of wisdom that he carries that I think he'll spread to the other guys. He's been reaching out to really everybody and I think that whole room in general is going to be great. I think we're all going to feed off of each other. It's going to be very fun and very exciting just to work with everybody in that room and I'm very excited for it."

Stroud was excited for the future back in February during his time in Orlando, Florida.

Since then, Stroud woke up to the addition of a Pro Bowl wide receiver, is excited about the prospects of two more WRs returning to form and all the more confident in what lies ahead for Houston.

"I think we have a lot of potential," he said. "A ton of guys who have played a lot of meaningful ball. A lot of guys who can do different things with the ball, which is amazing. With all of those expectations, all the outside noise -- right now is the time to focus."

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