HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – The Texans are precariously thin at the inside linebacker position, still dealing with injuries from last season. Darryl Sharpton, who said he was “100% healed up” in February via the Houston Texans website, is unable to participate in offseason training. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips broke the news on SportsRadio 610’s MaD Radio Thursday.
“Some guys just have some injury problems. Darryl is not healthy enough to right now to do our offseason stuff. He still hasn’t been cleared by the doctors from his injuries at the end of the season,” said Phillips.
Sharpton, 25, has yet to play a complete season. In 2012, the linebacker began Week 1 on the physically unable to perform list, returned in Week 11 for seven games, but then suffered a hip injury in Week 17 that placed him on the injured reserve list. Phillips still remained optimistic about the fourth-year veteran’s return.
“Hopefully things change for him. I think luck has a lot to do with it, unfortunately. He’s just been banged up what, three or four years in a row now. We hope he’ll get back.”
The Texans did not address the ILB position in the draft but did take two outside linebackers, Sam Montgomery (LSU) and Trevardo Williams (UConn), in the third and fourth-rounds, respectively. Linebackers coach Reggie Herring said that Brooks Reed could potentially move to the inside if needed. Phillips said that Reed will stay on the outside for now.
“I think everybody’s putting a lot into we drafted two outside backers but Jesse Nading and Connor Barwin aren’t on our team again. That’s two outside backers we had. It’s not necessary that we move somebody just because had two outside backers because we lost two. But, Brooks Reed is versatile and right now, we’re playing him outside and going with what we got and see what the young guys can do.”
With Sharpton out and Brian Cushing still in rehabilitation after ACL surgery, the Texans may have to look to free agency to gain some depth at the position. Phillips did not rule out signing a veteran ILB if needed. In fact, the Texans did re-sign Tim Dobbins to a one-year deal on April 12. Phillips is hopeful that all three will be ready to play when the season begins.
“We re-signed Dobbins and he played a lot for us last year, started a lot of games. We won a lot of games with him playing and we also had Sharpton in who played last year and we won games when he was in there. Both of them are very capable of starting and playing. Along with Cushing coming back, that makes us a lot stronger.”
The Texans begin OTAs (organized team activities) on May 20 and training camp on July 26.