Dealing with a suspension at linebacker and injuries at tight end, the Texans will work out a couple potential reinforcements at those positions next week. The team will audition linebacker Audie Cole on Monday and tight end Brian Parker on Tuesday, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter links).
Nobody would mistake Cole for the accomplished Brian Cushing, who will sit until early December because of a 10-game performance-enhancing drug ban, though the former would nonetheless provide some experience at inside linebacker. The 28-year-old has appeared in 57 games, all with the Vikings, since going in the seventh round of the 2012 draft. He wasn’t much of a factor defensively in Minnesota, though, as he tallied just seven starts (five of which came in 2013) and 78 tackles. Cole played a mere 36 defensive snaps in 2016, compared to 275 on special teams.
Parker, whose sole NFL experience to this post came during a nine-game, one-catch 2015 with the Chiefs, would add a body at tight end for a Houston team whose top options – C.J. Fiedorowicz, Ryan Griffin and Stephen Anderson – are battling concussions. Notably, the Texans will meet with Gary Barnidge, a far more established tight end than Parker, on Friday.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.