The Texans were hit with the difficult news that OT David Quessenberry has been diagnosed with lymphoma, and will be placed on the NFL’s Non-Football Illness List. Our thoughts and prayers go out to David and his family as he begins treatment.
Unfortunately, this difficult news presents some on-field realities for the Texans. Without Quessenberry in the fold, I believe the depth situation is perilous.
Behind Derek Newton, Houston has Brennan Williams and Matt Feller (UDFA). Williams had season-ending knee surgery before 2013, and has yet to participate on the field at OTAs. He’s had an incredibly difficult time getting healthy, and I don’t see how the team can rely on him right now.
Bottom line: the Texans have no proven depth at tackle. Quessenberry wasn’t necessarily “proven,” but he had shown a lot of promise at training camp last year. Before his broken foot, he was in line to receive substantial playing time. He also was one of the most versatile linemen the team had on the roster.
At this point, I believe it’s clear that the Texans need to sign a veteran free agent offensive tackle. During Tuesday’s Texans All Access, John McClain and John Harris both pointed out that as a result of 2013’s 2-14 season, the team has top priority on the waiver wire. Basically, the Texans get first crack at any players released across the NFL.
Here’s a quick look at some of the current free agent options at tackle:
• Eric Winston (started all 16 games in 2013 in Arizona)
• Ryan Harris (backup swing tackle in 2012-13 in Houston)
• David Stewart (former Titans RT, recovering from a broken leg)
• Tyson Clabo (veteran, did not sign in Arizona this week, started 15 games with the Dolphins in 2013)
• Bryant McKinnie (started 10 games in Miami in 2013 after being traded from the Ravens)
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