Changes on the eve of camp.
The Texans' first training camp of the Bill O'Brien era will be under way, and by Saturday morning, we will have confirmation on just how entrenched Andre Johnson is in his stance against the team. That will be the story line that has everyone buzzing on Saturday.
In the meantime, the final pre-camp transactions and decisions are being made, some of which were expected and some of which sound more dire than they actually are.
Here's the latest...
Cushing, Nix, Trevardo Williams Placed on Preseason PUP List
In a move that is more of an administrative to-do than a harbinger of bad news on the health front, the Texans placed three players on the preseason Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list on Monday -- inside linebacker Brian Cushing, outside linebacker Trevardo Williams and rookie nose tackle Louis Nix III.
The preseason PUP list is, more or less, a placeholder for the possibility of a player being placed on the regular season PUP list, a designation under which a player is unavailable through Week 6. In order to be eligible for the regular season PUP list, a player has to be on the preseason version.
Cushing, Williams and Nix can be removed from the preseason list at any time, but this leaves the Texans' options open should any of the three prove too banged up to start the season.
Of the three players, Cushing is recovering from the most serious injury, having missed most of his second season in a row with a serious knee injury. For his part, Cushing has said he expects to be ready to play in Week 1.
Nix missed time during OTAs with a minor injury, and O'Brien didn't seem very concerned when asked about it. Williams spent all of last season on the IR.
Brennan Williams Released
Sometimes, things just aren't meant to be.
For offensive tackle Brennan Williams, that appears to be the case for his career as a Houston Texan, but he is optimistic that is not the case for his NFL career overall.
As reported earlier today, the Texans released Williams Monday afternoon with a failed physical designation. Since he was drafted in the third round of the 2013 draft, Williams's time in Houston had been star-crossed from the second day of rookie minicamp in 2013, when a knee injury sustained in drills wound up requiring minor surgery.
He returned to play in one preseason game, but shortly thereafter it was determined that he would need microfracture knee surgery that ended his rookie year.
Williams was hopeful of competing for the starting right tackle spot, but was held out during OTAs.
Williams, who is popular on social media, expressed his appreciation for the city of Houston, the fans, and the opportunity in the following tweet:
"I want to thank the Texans and the city of Houston for the great opportunity! It didn't work out how anyone planned, but I am still the same player who was drafted last year. Right now the key is getting healthy and getting back on this horse--don't worry about me I'll be back soon! Thanks for your prayers and support I am truly blessed. You can't keep the the GBO down."
Via text message to Sports Radio 610, Williams said the team and player were both in a tough spot: "It's just a tricky situation with me coming off of the injury, [the Texans] aren't in a position to be taking any risks at the tackle position. They saw something they were a little concerned about, and made their decision."
Williams remained highly optimistic that he would continue his NFL career elsewhere: "It's still early, but there has been interest from other teams. We will see how it plays out."
Williams was emphatic that he will be better for this: "Football is a business, but it's all right. I'll land on my feet!"
Williams's release leaves the Texans with six remaining draft picks from the 2013 haul on the roster. Sixth-round pick Chris Jones was a frequent starter for the New England Patriots as a rookie in 2013, and third-round pick Sam Montgomery was released in the wake of discipline issues off the field in 2013.
Sapp Involved in Odd Arrest of Former Destiny's Child Star
It's not a Fantasy Crime League update because no NFL player involved in the story was actually booked or arrested, but it's an odd story involving crime and a Houston Texan, so we will cover it here.
Over the weekend, Texans linebacker Ricky Sapp was in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, hanging out with his former Clemson teammate and current Tampa Bay Buccaneer Da'Quan Bowers. Bowers flew in former Destiny's Child member Farrah Franklin from California for the weekend.
The three went out drinking on Sunday, and afterwards, returned to Sapp's house, which is when it got weird. Courtesy of the Houston Chronicle:
Franklin, 33, was booked into the Horry County jail just before 5 a.m. Sunday on a charge of disorderly conduct, online records show.
According to police reports, Franklin had been drinking with Daquan Bowers and Sapp, both former Clemson players. Bowers, now a defensive end with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, told Horry County Police he had flown Franklin into town from her home in California to spend time with him.
The three went out drinking Sunday and went back to Sapp's home, according to police. Both men told police Franklin was highly intoxicated and that she was "yelling, slamming doors and refused to stop when asked."
Bowers and Sapp called police after she refused to calm down. Officers said they found Franklin lying in a neighbor's yard and the woman told police she "did not have anywhere else to go and was planning on sleeping in the woods."
Franklin was released from jail around noon Sunday after posting $280 bond. Court records listed no attorney for her, and no phone number for her could be found.
The story of the arrest certainly has some bizarre overtones, but perhaps the most remarkable thing about the story is it serves as a reminder that we are now more than five years since the last time a Houston Texan was arrested, by far the longest streak in the NFL.
If there were a Super Bowl for being squeaky clean, Bob McNair would be hoisting the trophy.
Also, Farrah Franklin? Not Texans-worthy.
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