By Guy Curtright
Maybe Darius Walker's decision to bypass his final season at Notre Dame and declare for the NFL draft wasn't so misguided after all.
The Irish are having a year to forget and Walker's NFL career may finally be ready to get started after going undrafted and then being released twice as a free agent.
Walker was promoted from the practice squad by the Houston Texas and may get some carries today at Cleveland as a backup to Ron Dayne.
Ahman Green's continued knee problems opened up a spot for Walker on the active roster, and the former Buford standout hopes to take advantage of it.
Walker followed a record-setting high school career with three standout seasons at Notre Dame. But poor reviews at the NFL combine left the running back undrafted, to the shock of many.
Walker was signed as a free agent by the Chicago Bears, but then released. The same thing happened with the Texans at the end of the preseason.
Houston re-signed Walker for the practice squad, but until now his biggest responsibility with the Texans was taping a weekly video segment for the team Web site (HoustonTexans.com) titled "Wednesdays with Walker."
Walker joked with Houston reporters about handling both playing and commenting. "I'm going to try to juggle both. See if I can multitask," he said.
Walker certainly did everything when he was at Buford, leading the Wolves to three consecutive unbeaten seasons and Class AA state titles.
As a senior, Walker rushed for 2,406 yards and scored 46 touchdowns - surpassing Herschel Walker's state record.
But that and his success at Notre Dame, where he rushed for 1,267 yards as a junior, didn't count with the NFL, leaving Walker to battle for a roster spot and a chance.
The Texans (5-5) have quarterback Matt Schaub and wide receiver Andre Johnson healthy again, but they still have concerns about Green. That is where Walker may come in against the Browns (6-4).
"It's a great feeling," Walker told Houston reporters when asked about finally getting a roster spot. "Especially going from having to watch and not ever dress to actually dressing and actually having an opportunity to get in the game."