JaMycal Hasty was waived by the Jaguars this past weekend following a year-plus with the organization. The running back had 320 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns during his first season in Jacksonville but was limited to only three games and zero touches this year. He’ll be hard pressed to carve out a role in New England with Rhamondre Stevenson and Ezekiel Elliott leading the depth chart.
1:57pm: With Fairbairn set to miss some time, the team has officially made the decision to place him on IR. He’ll be out for at least four weeks now, so even though Ammendola is only getting called up for tomorrow, a permanent roster move to cover the kicker position is likely soon.
With two new vacancies on the 53-man roster, the Texans have opted to utilize their practice squad to fill one. The team announced that it will be signing practice squad offensive guard Dieter Eiselen to the active roster.
While the return to practice was obviously a positive development for Stingley, it sounded like the team was proceeding with caution with the former third-overall pick. Since Stingley had been sidelined for more than a month, the Texans were reportedly going to give the defender as much time as he needed to get into game shape. Apparently, it didn’t take all that long, as Stingley is set to be activated only days after being designated for return.
The LSU product hasn’t necessarily lived up to his third-overall-pick billing, but that’s mostly been thanks to injury. Stingley collected 43 tackles, one interception, and five passes defended to begin his rookie campaign, but a hamstring injury suffered in Week 10 ultimately forced him to miss the rest of the season. He had nine tackles in two starts to begin this season before landing on injured reserve.
To make room on the roster, the Texans have waived offensive lineman Austin Deculus. The 2022 sixth-round pick has seen time in 13 games over the past two seasons for Houston, including seven appearances (one start) this season. He was waived at the end of the preseason before landing on the practice squad, and there’s a good chance he follows a similar path this time around.
The Texans made one additional move as they prepare for Week 10. Per Wilson, the team has promoted kicker Matt Ammendola from the practice squad as a standard gameday elevation. Ka’imi Fairbairn is set to miss a handful of weeks while recovering from a strained quadriceps, so Houston will temporarily roll with the journeyman kicker. Ammendola has spent time with six different organizations since going undrafted out of Oklahoma State in 2020. He’s seen time in 15 career games, connecting on 18 of his 26 field goal attempts and 19 of his 22 extra point tries.
Walker’s elevation comes amidst a degree of uncertainty regarding DeshaunWatson‘s Sunday availability. The latter is dealing with a shoulder injury, but he has expressed confidence he will be able to suit up. In the event he is unable to play, though, Walker will provide insurance under center. NFL Network’s James Palmer reports Watson will be a game-time decision.
Chosen, formerly Robbie Anderson, made his Dolphins debut in Week 3, scoring a 68-yard touchdown on his only catch. His performance – along with other depth wideouts currently being sidelined for Miami – will give the 30-year-old a longer look with his new team.
Gore’s elevation will give him the chance to see regular season game action for the first time since 2021. The former UDFA recorded 361 scrimmage yards with the Chiefs that season, but a subsequent IR stint marked the end of his time in Kansas City. Gore has since spent time on the Saints’, and now Commanders’, taxi squads. Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post notes that fellow depth back Chris Rodriguezhas bee ruled out with an illness, opening the door to Gore seeing limited snaps.
Howard broke his hand during training camp, leading to his placement on IR before Week 1. The offensive tackle has reportedly made great progress and should return to practice next week. Howard has been a mainstay on the Texans offensive line since he was selected in the first round of the 2019 draft, starting all 54 of his appearances. Pro Football Focus has generally graded him as an average-to-above average offensive tackle, with the site giving him particularly high marks for his pass-blocking ability.
Scruggs was expected to slide into the starting role when Scott Quessenberry went down with a torn ACL and MCL. However, the rookie second-round suffered a hamstring injury that required a stint on the injured reserve. Wilson notes that the lineman could return as early as next week against the Falcons.
Thanks to all the injuries, the Texans have been forced to rely on a number of backup linemen. Veteran George Fant has been thrust into the starting lineup with Howard sidelined, and rookie Jarrett Patterson has started all three games at center in place of Scruggs. Predictably, the results haven’t been pretty, as the Texans offensive line has allowed 11 sacks and has contributed to a league-worst 2.8 yards per carry.
Unfortunately for Houston, it’s going to get a bit tougher before it gets easier. Offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil is set to miss another game while dealing with a knee injury, and potential fill-in Josh Jones won’t play in Week 4 thanks to a hand injury. As a result, the team is preparing practice-squad lineman Austin Deculus to be the starting LT on Sunday against the Steelers, per Wilson.
Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These Colts, Jaguars, Texans and Titans moves are noted below.
Three veteran tight ends were let go in Mason Schreck, Eric Tomlinson, and Nick Vannett. Vannett has the most epxerience of the bunch, having seen time in 86 career games. He spent the 2022 seasons with the Giants and Saints, hauling in six catches. Tomlinson has appeared in 85 career games, including 34 over the past two seasons. He started 12 of his 17 appearances for Denver in 2022, serving mostly as an extra blocker.
Adam Humphries was an 800-yard receiver with the Buccaneers in 2018, but he’s compiled only 985 yards in three years since. He didn’t get into a game during the 2022 season, but he did haul in 41 catches for Washington in 2021.
The Texans wrapped up their nine-man draft class today when they were able to reach an agreement with third-round pick Christian Harris. The Power Five-heavy class includes a plethora of Day 1 and 2 picks and brings home three Houston-natives in guard Kenyon Green, safety Jalen Pitre, and offensive lineman Austin Deculus.
The Texans started their haul with four selections in the 2022 NFL Draft’s first 44 picks. Their first addition was cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., who will immediately improve a group that currently includes Steven Nelson, Lonnie Johnson Jr., and Desmond King II. The Texans’ secondary struggled greatly at times last year, and defensive-coordinator-turned-head-coach Lovie Smith decided that addressing that weakness was a top priority. Their addition of Pitre in the second round further addresses that need. While listed as a safety, Pitre spent the majority of his career with the Bears in the slot. Whether at safety or slot cornerback, Pitre is a strong addition alongside Stingley to a struggling defense.
Green was the next selection, midway through the first round, and his ability to play on the inside of the line should allow Houston to establish Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard at the tackle positions. The later addition of the swing tackle, Deculus, continued the Texans’ efforts at improving the protection in front of second-year quarterback Davis Mills.
In terms of weapons for Mills, after extending leading receiver Brandin Cooks, Houston added another weapon in slot receiver John Metchie III. The Alabama alum tore his ACL in December, but is assumed to be ready to return to the field sometime this summer.