Sean Pendergast

Houston Texans 53 Man Roster Prediction, FINAL Version

Dameon Pierce will once again be a foundational piece for theHouston Texans, but with many enw faces around him this season.
Dameon Pierce will once again be a foundational piece for theHouston Texans, but with many enw faces around him this season. Photo by Eric Sauseda
The 2023 preseason, perhaps the most highly anticipated Texans preseason since the Gary Kubiak Era, is on the books. Three preseason games, a couple dozen practices, a couple canceled joint practices with the Saints, and now here we are. Over the next day or so, right up until 4 p.m. Central Time on Tuesday, dreams will be realized by some and shattered (at least, for now) for others, for it is roster cutdown time in the NFL!

After reverting to rules the last couple years that required teams to stage their cuts gradually throughout the preseason, the league has gone back to allowing teams to carry 90 players right up to the cutdown deadline. In short, the next 48 hours are essentially a land rush for teams to discard their own players, and simultaneously rifle through the other 1,000 or so players rejected by the other 31 teams. It's insanity!

To that end, my 53 man roster prediction below is essentially what I think the roster will look like at 4:01 p.m. on Tuesday. Having finished with the second worst record in the NFL in 2022, the Texans have high priority in picking up other teams' waived players. They basically can have anyone that the Chicago Bears, who had the worst record in 2022, don't want.

So there could be a handful of players who are Houston Texans as of Tuesday afternoon, who may be gone by Wednesday morning. I'd estimate there will be at least three or four guys who make the Texans on Tuesday, but who shouldn't go purchasing a new home anytime soon, because they could be gone in 24 hours. Rent, fellas!

That said, here we go with the final roster prediction. As always, we start with the stone cold locks to make the team:

Quarterback (3): C.J. Stroud, Davis Mills, Case Keenum
Running back (2): Dameon Pierce, Devin Singletary
Wide Receiver (5): Nico Collins, Robert Woods, John Metchie III, Tank Dell, Noah Brown
Tight End (1): Dalton Schultz
Offensive line (6): Laremy Tunsil, Kenyon Green, Juice Scruggs, Shaq Mason, Tytus Howard, JOSH JONES

The only change here from the previous version is the addition of newly acquired offensive lineman (and former University of Houston Coog!) Josh Jones, who came over in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals last week. He might start in Week 1, if Tytus Howard's broken hand hasn't fully healed.

Now, to locks on defense:

Defensive line (6): Maliek Collins, Jerry Hughes, Sheldon Rankins, Will Anderson, Jonathan Greenard, Hassan Ridgeway
Linebackers (4): Christian Harris, Denzel Perryman, Henry To'o To'o, Blake Cashman
Cornerbacks (3): Derek Stingley, Jr., Steven Nelson, Desmond King
Safeties (2): Jimmie Ward, Jalen Pitre

Not much to see here. It's the same 16 guys that I had in my previous iteration of roster prediction. The only thing to note here is that Blake Cashman has missed the last couple weeks with a hamstring injury. He will make the initial 53 man roster, but we will have to see if the Texans place him on injured reserve immediately after 4 p.m. Tuesday.

(NOTE: If a team wants to place a player on the version of injured reserve that allows the player to return DURING the season, then he MUST be on the initial 53 man roster after the cutdown deadline Tuesday. If a player is placed on IR before the cutdown deadline, he is out for the season, by rule.)

Kicker (1): Ka'imi Fairbairn
Punter (1): Cam Johnston
Long snapper (1): Jon Weeks

Again, no surprises here, but it should be noted that the Texans brought in a punter (Ty Zentner) for the final preseason game, because Johnston is dealing with an injury. I can't imagine the final 53 man roster having two punters, but it's worth keeping an eye on.

Okay, right now, we have 18 spots still open, so let's go shopping for the minimum number of bodies we need at each position, and then, if there are any Golden Tickets left to hand out, we will fill in the last couple spots, if spots remain.  Let's start in the offensive backfield:

36. Mike Boone, RB
37. Anthony Beck, FB/TE

Boone has had a better overall camp than 2022 holdover Dare Ogunbowale. Boone has looked smooth running and catching the football. He may need to find a spot on special teams to stick long term, but I think he makes the team, as does Beck in his fullback/tight end hybrid role, although fullback is a spot the Texans may shop for on the waiver wire.

Now, to the pass catchers:

38. Xavier Hutchinson, WR
39. Teagan Quitoriano, TE
40. Mason Schreck, TE

These three are pretty close to "locks." Hutchinson has flashed in training camp, and Quitoriano, when healthy, has looked like a player with higher upside than his fifth round draft label. Schreck is a mild surprise, but the team lists him on the depth chart as a co-first stringer with Dalton Schultz, so who am I to argue?

41. Michael Deiter, G
42. George Fant, T
43. Jarrett Patterson, G/C

The trade for Jones means one more spot in the offensive line room is locked in. The interesting storyline here is what happens with fourth year swing tackle, Charlie Heck. Heck has been on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list all camp long, and likely will enter the season with that designation, but is there a chance we have seen the last of Charlie Heck as a Texan?

Onto the defense, starting with the defensive line:

44. Dylan Horton, DE
45. Roy Lopez, DT
46. Kurt Hinish, DT
47. Jacob Martin, DE

Horton has had an up and down camp, but the team used a fourth round pick on him, so he should make the team. Hinish was a tough inclusion for me, with others on the defensive line, specifically veteran Khalil Davis, showing up decently in training camp and in games. Martin started the Miami game, so it would appear he is above the fray for the final defensive end spot. To linebackers, we go!

48. Corey Littleton, LB
49. Neville Hewitt, LB

I could see the Texans doing some linebacker shopping on the waiver wire. Also, in my opinion, we've reached the end of the line on Christian Kirksey, who's been injured all of camp, is on the wrong side of 30, is expensive, and isn't all that great at football anymore. That's a rough combo.

Let's fill in the secondary:

50. Tavierre Thomas, CB
51. Shaq Griffin, CB
52. M.J. Stewart, S
53. Eric Murray, S

The shakiest one here is Girffin, who brings great, veteran energy, but has not had a great camp. I could also see the team shopping for a safety on the waiver wire.

So that's it! That's the Texans' 53 man roster, according to Sean Pendergast! Unlike last time, when I had a spot left open at the end, I have no Golden Tickets this week (sorry, Nick Vannett, last week's 53rd guy). The one temptation I had was possibly keeping WR Steven Sims as a kick returner, but the roster spots are precious, and Desmond King and Tank Dell can return kicks and punts just fine.

There will be a whole lot more movement this week, even after the roster is finalized on Tuesday. We will have you covered on!

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at, on Instagram at, and like him on Facebook at
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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast