On Tuesday, the Texans made their final set of moves to get down to 75 players before they head up to Dallas on Wednesday for the game Thursday night, placing wide receiver Alec Lemon on the injured reserve list and placing nose tackle David Hunter and wide receiver Mike Smith on waiver/injured reserve.
So after the dust settled, and the flurry of player activity on Monday was over, and I finally stop feeling stupid for not knowing that Nick Mondek was actually still on the team (Seriously, I feel like he's been cut by the Texans at least five times in the last year.), we have a few items to explore before the all-important
for like ten guys fourth and final game of the preseason.
Let's hit 'em rapid fire:
First, a quick hit on the Texans' fan luncheon on Tuesday at the Westin Galleria, where Gary Kubiak shared a story about Broncos Hall of Fame quarterback and former teammate John Elway. He said that for 14 years, Elway went without a Super Bowl title, but finally in years 15 and 16, he broke through and took home the Lombardi Trophy. Kubiak then emphasized that Texans owner Bob McNair is probably not going to give Kubiak 14 years to win a title. I think Kubiak drastically underestimates McNair's patience. If Andy Reid survived Philadelphia for that long without winning a championship, Kubiak should cruise well into the 2030's.
#TEAMBUBBLEWRAP FOR THURSDAY NIGHT (Code for guys who shouldn't get anywhere near a helmet, shoulder pad, or cleat)
Matt Schaub Arian Foster (back) Greg Jones Andre Johnson DeAndre Hopkins (concussion) Owen Daniels Garrett Graham (hip flexor) Duane Brown Wade Smith (knee) Chris Myers Brandon Brooks J.J. Watt Antonio Smith (suspended, but he'd be on here anyway) Earl Mitchell Brian Cushing Brooks Reed Whitney Mercilus (hamstring) Ed Reed (hip) Danieal Manning Johnathan Joseph Kareem Jackson GUYS THE COWBOY GAME MATTERS FOR
Case Keenum/T.J. Yates I'm actually just putting this in here to be one of the cool kids. If you're not talking about the "battle" for the Texans backup quarterback spot, you ain't nothin', man! Truth be told, this is far less of a battle than some make it out to be. T.J. Yates would basically have to power bomb Gary Kubiak through the Gatorade table at this point to lose the backup job to Keenum.
DeVier Posey Posey's recovery from rupturing his Achilles has been nothing short of remarkable, and now in just over seven months, he will return to the field Thursday night. It's important for him to get reps not just to shake off recuperation period rust, but to merely play some football. People forget how little football he's played over the last three years with his multiple suspensions at Ohio State and his sparse playing time during the burn-in period of his rookie season last year.
Cierre Wood/Dennis Johnson At this point, Deji Karim has all but locked up the third running back spot behind Arian Foster and Ben Tate, and rookie Ray Graham was the first contestant eliminated on Bachelor: The Battle For A Practice Squad Running Back Slot when he was let go in the "get to 75" purge. (Kubiak phrase barrage coming here...) This leaves the two kids Wood and Johnson battle-fighting like heck to see who the best kid is. My money is on Wood. I just think if anything catastrophic happened at running back, he could step in, get tough yards, and run well in the Texans scheme in an NFL game.
A.J. Bouye, Willie Jefferson, and Justin Tuggle Here are your three undrafted free agents with the best chance of making the team. Thursday night should be like the goddamn Super Bowl for these guys. Hell, Tuggle and Jefferson have actually started preseason games in Whitney Mercilus' absence, so if they don't make the team for some reason, it'll only be because the team spent third and fourth round draft choices on....
Sam Montgomery and Trevardo Williams I'm not going to be draft pick overreact guy and call these two picks a disaster or anything. Disaster is a knee injury to Brian Cushing in Week 5. At this point, these two guys are just mildly troubling developments. Easily, one of the hardest decisions in coming up with a 53 man roster is what to do with Williams.
Chris Jones Ultra productive in college, a calf injury has set the sixth round pick back slightly in his battle for a roster spot. I'd be surprised if Jones didn't at least make the practice squad, but this is no longer a team where draft picks are guaranteed anything.
Ask Nick Mondek.
So now that we've come full circle on this post, let's take a quick stab at what the roster will look like come Friday evening.
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PRE-COWBOY GAME 53 MAN ROSTER PREDICTION Offense (24) QB (3): Matt Schaub, T.J. Yates, Case Keenum RB (3): Arian Foster, Ben Tate, Deji Karim FB (1): Greg Jones WR (5): Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins, DeVier Posey, Lestar Jean, Keshawn Martin TE (3): Owen Daniels, Garrett Graham, Ryan Griffin OL (9): Duane Brown, Wade Smith, Chris Myers, Brandon Brooks, Derek Newton, Ben Jones, David Quessenberry, Brennan Williams, Ryan Harris
Defense () DT (2): Earl Mitchell, Terrell McClain DE (4): J.J. Watt, Antonio Smith, Tim Jamison, Jared Crick ILB (4): Brian Cushing, Joe Mays, Darryl Sharpton, Tim Dobbins OLB (6): Brooks Reed, Whitney Mercilus, Bryan Braman, Willie Jefferson, Justin Tuggle, Sam Montgomery CB (6): Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, Brice McCain, Brandon Harris, A.J. Bouye, Roc Carmichael S (4): Danieal Manning, Ed Reed, D.J. Swearinger, Shiloh Keo
Specialists (3) K (1): Randy Bullock P (1): Shane Lechler LS (1): Jon Weeks
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