Season-Ending Injuries

Wide Receiver Jester Weah (Undisclosed) – Injured from practice squad

Wide Receiver Will Fuller (Knee) – Injured in week 8

Offensive Tackle Seantrel Henderson (Ankle) – Injured in week 1

Linebacker Dylan Cole (Wrist) – Injured in week 3

Cornerback Jermaine Kelly (Undisclosed) – Injured in training camp

Long-Term Injuries

Running Back D’Onta Foreman (Achilles) – Beginning of season until week 11

Wide Receiver Bruce Ellington (Hamstring) – Left week 3 and cut in week 9

Linebacker Zach Cunningham (Knee) – Left week 8 until December

Cornerback Kevin Johnson (Concussion) – Left week 1 and is questionable for week 11

Cornerback Aaron Colvin (Ankle) – Week 5 and is questionable for week 11

Cornerback Kayvon Webster (Quad) – Played one drive in week 5

Safety Andre Hal (Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma) – Activated for week 7

Short-Term Injuries

Running Back Lamar Miller (Chest) – Missed week 5

Wide Receiver Keke Coutee (Hamstring) – Missed weeks 8-9

Tight End Ryan Griffin (Illness) – Missed weeks 7-8

Offensive Guard Zach Fulton (Ankle) – Missed weeks 7-8

Cornerback Shareece Wright (Shoulder) – Missed weeks 7-8

Cornerback Jonathan Joseph (Sprained MCL) – Left week 8

Replacements

Running Backs

The Texans are deep at running back and with Foreman missing the entire season to this point, Miller and Blue have done a great job as the top duo. When Miller missed week five, Blue did a good job of filling in at the starting spot, amassing over 100 yards. There may not be a star in the backfield, but there is very good depth, and injuries haven’t hurt the team.

Wide Receivers

Hopkins has been entirely healthy so far this year, and otherwise there’s been injuries all over. The Texans probably shouldn’t have pushed Fuller to play through injury until after the bye week, but now he is out for the year. Coutee, Ellington and Fuller have all missed time and while it impacts the offensive versatility, production hasn’t been hugely impacted. A trade for Demaryius Thomas will help the Texans’ depth and production at the position. Coutee will return as well after the bye week and the new Texans trio will attempt to replicate the offensive outburst from Coutee’s debut against the Colts.

Offensive Line

In the season opener, newly acquired Seantrel Henderson went down with a season-ending injury. Zach Fulton, who was also a free agent signing, has missed a few weeks this season. Kendall Lamm has done a good job of filling in for Henderson. Rookie Martinas Rankin has struggled so far this year while filling in for injuries. The past two weeks the offensive line has looked much better, only giving up one sack. The offensive line can only be downgraded to a certain extent with injury though considering it was never overflowing with talent.

Linebackers

The Texans came into the season with solid depth at the position with Clowney, Mercilus, Cunningham and McKinney as the starting four, and then Cole and Scarlett as backups. They also moved both rookie pass rushers to linebacker. Cole is out for the season and Cunningham is missing considerable time. Scarlett looked pretty good last week in replacement. Rookie Duke Ejiofor has looked NFL ready, and will continue to develop with playing time.

Cornerbacks

While every position named above has depth players to fill in, the depth players at cornerback have been injured as well. Kevin Johnson was concussed early in the season and Aaron Colvin has missed several weeks with an ankle injury as well. Kayvon Webster has also only managed one drive this season. Shareece Wright has looked very good with his playing time since these injuries, but he has missed the past two weeks and is questionable against the Broncos. Jonathan Joseph is as well questionable this week.

It is unknown what the Texans cornerback rotation will look like against the Broncos. If none of these players can go come Sunday, the Texans may move special teamer Johnson Bademosi into the rotation with Kareem Jackson shifting back to cornerback for the week.

Schedule

The Texans have had an easy ride so far this season and sit comfortable atop the AFC South at 5-3. The injuries have been mounting though and it’s time for the Texans to face their biggest competition of the season, albeit against a team with only three wins.

The Texans played on Thursday night last week, giving them a ten day break before their week nine game against the Broncos. The Texans will also have their bye week come next week in week ten, and so with that, as important as it is to extend the division lead, it is even more important to have long-term health.

The Texans should allow for their players to get healthy with the ten days prior to the game against the Broncos, and another two weeks before they take on the Redskins in the middle of November.

Conclusions

The Texans only play two teams above .500 over the rest of the regular season, one against the Redskins, and one against the Eagles. The Texans are facing injury trouble, but excluding the most recent injuries at cornerback, they have managed all season with majority of these injuries.

The Texans learned last week with Fuller that pushing players through injuries can result in too large a loss. The Texans should have their injured players rest, giving them a very long break with the bye week before they will return in week 11 against the Redskins.

If the Texans bring their best game against the Broncos they are capable of winning regardless of injuries. While the Texans can hopefully pull off a win, the most important thing for them is to get healthy for their games down the stretch.

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– Max Freedman is the Managing Editor of Full Press Coverage Texans. He covers the Houston Texans. Like and follow on and Facebook.

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