Houston Texans training camp begins on Thursday morning, and there's really nothing that can dampen my enthusiasm. Jadeveon Clowney will likely be absent, in the midst of a contract standoff with the front office, a front office that actually consists right now of a five headed general manager, and neither of those facts can crush my spirit.
The only thing that derail my positive vibes would be the same thing that can derail a season itself, and that would be injuries. Unfortunately, on Sunday evening, we got our first taste of medical announcements from Texans PR, with the following two tweets:
The Houston Texans have placed WR DeAndre Carter, WR DeAndre Hopkins and DE J.J. Watt on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list.— Texans PR (@TexansPR) July 21, 2019
The Houston Texans placed OLB Jamal Davis II on the Active/Non-Football Illness list.— Texans PR (@TexansPR) July 21, 2019
The team also placed NT Walter Palmore and TE Kahale Warring on the Active/Non-Football Injury list.
Admittedly, it's pretty damn harrowing seeing a tweet with the words "physically unable to perform" juxtaposed to the names of the two best football players on the team, DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt. The Pavlovian reaction requires a phone call to 9-1-1. I get it. However, I am here to talk you off the ledge, good Texan fan, and lay out the actual degree of concern over each of the significant injuries in these two tweets. (With all due respect to Jamal Davis and Walter Palmore, I'm not very familiar with either of you.)
Before we quantify our fear factor on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being no fear, and 10 being scared out of your wits), understand that these designations, because they contain the word "active", are essentially place holders until the players involved are ready to begin practice. These are far from permanent labels. So let's do this:
DE J.J. WATT
Watt was barely present at minicamp and OTA's, and like most veteran players on the wrong side of 30, he had some surgical cleanup work done during the offseason. Nothing serious, as he looked to be pretty spry when he was bending a knee proposing to his girlfriend, Kealia Ohai, earlier this summer.
FEAR FACTOR: 2.1
WR DeANDRE HOPKINS
Like Watt, Hopkins was pretty much absent for all of minicamp and OTA's. and he finished the 2018 season quite banged up, playing the in the playoff loss to the Colts with a badly injured shoulder. Hopkins is an iron man, though, and this PUP designation is probably Bill O'Brien giving him all the time he needs to be ready for a big 2019.
FEAR FACTOR: 1.7
WR De ANDRE CARTER
I'm not sure exactly what Carter's injury is, but I do know that he is in a dogfight for his roster spot, as a return guy and a backup slot receiver behind Keke Coutee. (Hey, by the way, the good news in all of this — no Will Fuller or Keke Coutee on these lists!)
FEAR FACTOR: 4.5
TE KAHALE WARRING
Again, I'm not sure what Warring's injury is, and to be honest with you, the thing that jumped out about Warring at rookie minicamp was that he looked like someone who might be indestructible. He looks like a superhero. Of all the guys on this list, Warring clearly needs training camp reps the most. This needs to be a minor injury, or Warring will get behind the eight ball quickly.
FEAR FACTOR: 7.1
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