By Sam McPherson
Houston Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien comes from the Bill Belichick coaching tree, and if nothing else, O’Brien is being open and honest about his team’s injuries on this week’s official report. The Texans have listed 19 players on the injury list, although in reality, only nine of them really would make the list for any other team.
Why O’Brien listed 19 players is a question for another day, though, as the 1-4 Texans prepare to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday in Florida. The important thing is to get as many players healthy as soon as possible, so the Houston organization can actually take a step forward this year.
The Texans listed 10 players as full participants in Thursday’s workouts, meaning they should be ready to play on Sunday: offensive guard Oday Aboushi (toe), safety Lonnie Ballentine (knee), offensive tackle Duane Brown (hand), linebacker Brian Cushing (ankle), tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz (neck), running back Arian Foster (groin), running Jonathan Grimes (hamstring), cornerback Kareem Jackson (non-football related), offensive tackle Derek Newton (knee) and running back Chris Polk (knee).
The health of the RB corps is nice to see, as the Houston offense needs that element to succeed and thrive. With the announcement that quarterback Brian Hoyer will be the starter again until further notice, the Texans can find some stability on offense with that news—and Foster back in the fold, healthy.
Of bigger concern for Houston now is the news that seven players couldn’t workout Thursday because of their injuries: running back Alfred Blue (toe), cornerback A.J. Bouye (illness), linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (ankle), defensive end Jared Crick (knee), safety Quintin Demps (hamstring), linebacker Brian Peters (hamstring) and wide receiver Nate Washington (hamstring).
Not practicing a week after the last game is never a good sign, so those players may not be able to go on Sunday in Jacksonville. Blue’s absence means one rough move for Foster could mean the team is without a viable starter at running back, of course. That can be problematic for this offense, as we have seen this year.
Limited in workouts yesterday were linebacker Akeem Dent (hamstring) and wide receiver Cecil Shorts III (shoulder). Obviously, the team is a little more optimistic these two will see the field on Sunday. However, all things considered, for the Texans to have five players overall listed with hamstring injuries before an outdoor game in humid Florida doesn’t bode well for Week 6.
Just how so many players are still injured after a long week of rest is another question for the Houston organization—unless O’Brien is just emulating his mentor, of course.
Oday Aboushi, Offensive Guard (toe)
Lonnie Ballentine, Safety (knee)
Duane Brown, Offensive Tackle (hand)
Brian Cushing, Linebacker (ankle)
C.J. Fiedorowicz, Tight End (neck)
Arian Foster, Running Back (groin)
Jonathan Grimes, Running Back (hamstring)
Kareem Jackson, Cornerback (non-football related)
Derek Newton, Offensive Tackle (knee)
Chris Polk, Running Back (knee)
Akeem Dent, Linebacker (hamstring)
Cecil Shorts III, Wide Receiver (shoulder)
Alfred Blue, Running Back (toe)
A.J. Bouye, Cornerback (illness)
Jadeveon Clowney, Linebacker (ankle)
Jared Crick, Defensive End (knee)
Quintin Demps, Safety (hamstring)
Brian Peters, Linebacker (hamstring)
Nate Washington, Wide Receiver (hamstring)
Sam McPherson is a freelance writer covering baseball, football, basketball, golf, hockey and fantasy sports for CBS, AXS and Examiner. He also is an Ironman triathlete and certified triathlon coach.