As if trying to figure out how to get Brock Osweiler and this Texans offense clicking hasn’t been perplexing enough for the offensive staff at NRG, they’ll now have to try and figure out how exactly to do it without one of Brock’s favorite targets.
Tight end CJ Feidorowicz has been ruled out for Sunday’s contest with a concussion. Feidorowicz suffered in last week’s win over the Colts.
Ryan Griffin will be getting most of the burn at TE in place of Feidorowicz.
Rookie Stephen Anderson is also expected to get some burn, given how shorthanded the Texans are in the receiving core already.
Feidorowicz, having a career year, has caught 48 passes (2nd most receptions behind DeAndre Hopkins’ 60) for 405 yards and 3 touchdowns this season.
A team that prides itself on being a game plan offense, will have to find a way to beat a team they just squeaked by 5 weeks ago, 24-21 in Jacksonville, without their most reliable target this season on Sunday.
Granted, Feidorowicz, didn’t factor into much of what the Texans did that day offensively in Jacksonville, but their other two TE’s did. Stephen Anderson and Ryan Griffin both caught TD passes from Brock that day, Anderson with a big one in the 3rd quarter, set up by a Tyler Ervin 57-yard punt return that put them on the 7 yard line prior to the TD.
Jacksonville did get back into the game and had a slim chance to gain possession and try to tie or win the game if they had recovered an on-side kick attempt late.
And despite getting burned for 2 TD’s week 10 by Texans TE’s, Jacksonville has done a solid job this season against opposing TE’s, allowing just 516 yards (7th fewest in the league) and 4 TD’s in 13 games.
The Texans don’t do much through the air to begin with, but no one can argue that TE has been one of the few bright spots thus far.
The Texans will once again look to Lamar Miller to carry much of the offensive load, which may have become a bit more challenging in itself, with yet another change coming this weekend to a patch work offensive line.
Right guard Jeff Allen will not play, as he is still dealing with the effects of a concussion. Oday Aboushi is expected to start in his place.
The Jags have struggled against the run all season and the Texans capitalized on that weakness 5 weeks ago as Lamar Miller ran for 83 yards on 15 carries in a Texans victory. Akeem Hunt also had a productive day, adding 52 yards on the ground on 8 carries.
Houston will once again look to exploit the Jags run defense, and keep the ball out of the air.
Working with Osweilers strengths has been as steep of an uphill climb as Bill O’Brien and staff have had to manage in the NFL. Keeping him from having to think too much at the line of scrimmage and taking care of the football this week, as is every week, the keep it simple stupid keys to beating a team you should absolutely beat, even if you might just be…the best of the rest, inside the AFC South.
NOTE: The Texans could be without LB Witney Mercilus and Jonathan Joseph Sunday. Mercilus was limited in practice Wednesday and sat out both Thursday and Friday sessions with back injury. Jospeh on the other hand, missed last weeks game in Indianapolis with cracked ribs and a bruised lung. Both are listed as questionable.