The Texans recently placed OL Marcus Cannon on IR, and as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter), the 33-year-old blocker will require back surgery. Cannon is expected to be out for about 12 weeks, and if that timeline holds, Cannon’s season will be over (assuming Houston doesn’t qualify for the playoffs). Per veteran NFL reporter Aaron Wilson, Cannon is dealing with a herniated disc (Twitter link).
GM Nick Caserio was very familiar with Cannon from his days with the Patriots, and Caserio swung a trade with New England in March to bring Cannon to Houston. A June knee surgery put Cannon’s Week 1 status in jeopardy, but he started each of the Texans’ first four games of the season before missing last week’s loss to the Pats
Cannon has never been a world-beater, but he does provide valuable experience and can play multiple positions along the O-line. All of his snaps this season were taken at right tackle, and Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics gave him a solid 65.2 overall grade for his efforts. 2020 fourth-rounder Charlie Heck will presumably serve as the starting RT going forward.
Cannon is under contract through 2022, and he is owed a fairly reasonable $4.7MM base salary next season, though he does have a $1.5MM roster bonus and would carry a $6.35MM cap hit. The Texans could clear that entire figure from their books if they were to release Cannon, which seems like a real possibility.