After Justin Britt hit the reserve/NFI list last season, the Texans called on Scott Quessenberry to fill in at center. Quessenberry did, starting 16 games. The team will not be able to use the veteran as a stopgap center this season.
This development may prevent the Texans from delaying second-round pick Juice Scruggs‘ starting lineup entrance. Scruggs had been working as the Texans’ second-team center thus far during training camp, but the Penn State product stands to be the next man up as a result of this Quessenberry setback.
Scott Quessenberry is the third Quessenberry brother to play for the Texans, following David and Paul. Scott, 28, is a sixth-year veteran who spent the first four seasons of his career with the Chargers. Scruggs loomed as a clear candidate to usurp him this year, but even when that inevitably happened, the elder blocker would have represented depth. This deals a blow to the Texans in that department.
Houston does have another veteran option in the form of Michael Deiter. The former Dolphin has 57 appearances and 23 starts to his name, but he alternated between heavy usage and barely seeing the field on offense during his four years in Miami. Deiter played sparingly and only on special teams in 2022, meaning he is likely not a threat for Scruggs with respect to the latter seeing starter’s snaps from Day 1.
Plenty of time remains for the Texans’ incumbent interior O-line options to earn their roles over the remainder of the offseason, but a free agent addition could be possible as well. Houston currently has $13.3MM in cap space, meaning they could afford to take a flier on one of the few veterans still on the market with experience in the middle. In any event, the team will be shorthanded up front for the season while Quessenberry looks to rehab in advance of next year’s free agency.
Adam La Rose contributed to this post.