Keke Coutee

Injury Updates: Hilton, Coutee, Inman

A handful of wideouts were listed as questionable heading into today’s playoff matchup between the Texans and Colts, and it sounds like the three receivers will end up playing. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that Texans wideout Keke Coutee and Colts receiver Dontrelle Inman are expected to play. Rapoport also notes that while Colts star wideout T.Y. Hilton is beat up, “the belief is he’ll play today.”

Hilton has been battling through injuries for much of the season, and he’s currently dealing with an ankle ailment that kept him out of this week’s practices. However, considering that the 29-year-old played through injuries during the regular season, it’s not all that surprising that he’ll likely see the field for a home playoff game. Andrew Luck and the Colts will continue to rely on Hilton, who finished the 2018 campaign with 76 receptions for 1,270 yards and six touchdowns.

The Colts will also be able to turn to Inman, who has been battling through shoulder and finger injuries. The 29-year-old joined the Colts in mid-October, and he ended up playing a relatively big role for Indy. Inman finished the season with 28 receptions for 304 yards and three touchdowns in nine games (four starts).

Meanwhile, Coutee is expected to return from a hamstring injury that has shelved him since the end of November. The rookie has struggled with injuries all season, limiting him to only six games. However, the Texas Tech product has been productive when on the field, hauling in 28 catches for 287 yards and one score. With Demaryius Thomas and Will Fuller sitting on the IR, Coutee should see plenty of targets playing behind DeAndre Hopkins.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Bell, Jets, Ravens, Harbaugh, Browns, Wylie

Although Le’Veon Bell‘s decision to sit out the 2018 season has caused people in the league to question “his character, competitiveness and motivation”, the Jets must go hard after Bell in free agency, opines Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Mehta writes that the Jets have a “golden opportunity” to get Sam Darnold another weapon, and quotes several of Bell’s former teammates who swear by him.

Jets defensive tackle Steve McLendon, who played with Bell in Pittsburgh, told Mehta “when he steps foot in this building, you’re going to get 100 percent from the guy” and that he would “bring the best out of so many people.” Mehta writes that the team “would be foolish not to make an aggressive run at Bell”, and he would fit right in with the New York media market. Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has said repeatedly that he plans to be aggressive using New York’s salary cap space this offseason, so Bell being a Jet is a very real possibility.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • Despite the team’s surprise announcement yesterday that John Harbaugh would return to coach the Ravens in 2019 and that the team hoped to work out an extension with him, the two sides haven’t had any talks on an extension yet, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. La Canfora seems to think that an extension is still far from a guarantee, and writes that “numerous significant matters would have to be resolved” before any deal could get done. It will be an interesting situation to monitor, especially if the Ravens end up missing the playoffs.
  • After breaking his ankle in practice, Browns offensive line coach Bob Wylie had successful surgery and is recovering well the team announced, per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link). Wylie, who became a fan favorite due to his starring turn on this year’s season of HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’, is “questionable at best” for this weekend’s game, according to the team’s announcement.
  • The Texans will be without to key offensive playmakers for their pivotal game against the Eagles tomorrow, as the team ruled out running back Lamar Miller and receiver Keke Coutee for the game, according to James Palmer of NFL Network (Twitter link). Coutee has been out for a few weeks now, but this will be Houston’s first game without Miller in the backfield. It’ll likely be a lot of Alfred Blue against a tough Philadelphia defensive front.

Texans Sign Entire Draft Class

As a busy Thursday for rookie signings winds down, the Texans don’t have any more work to do on this front. They reached agreements with each member of their draft class Thursday night, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports (on Twitter). Here’s the full rundown:

Having traded their first- and second-round picks in the deals for Deshaun Watson and Brock Osweiler, the Texans didn’t have as difficult of a time getting their class signed. However, they agreed to terms with three third-rounders, which hasn’t always been easy for teams because of vague CBA language regarding this round.

But Reid, Rankin and Akins are in the fold, and the Texans joined the Eagles among teams that have their full classes signed. Neither made first-round picks in this draft.