The Texans played their Week 2 game against the Colts without most of their starting offensive line. One of those blockers — center Juice Scruggs — is poised to be an IR activation near the season’s midpoint. The Texans may soon need to use at least one more IR spot for a starter.
Derek Stingley Jr. suffered a hamstring injury in practice this week, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson reports, and an MRI points to a several-week absence for last year’s No. 3 overall pick. The LSU product is likely headed to IR, Wilson adds.
In addition to Stingley’s forthcoming absence, the Texans are set to see nickel corner Tavierre Thomas sidelined for a bit. Thomas suffered a broken hand in the Texans’ loss to the Colts and has since undergone surgery, according to Wilson. The Texans have not used an IR spot on Thomas yet, but he is expected to miss multiple games.
Stingley went down during Wednesday’s practice. Offseason addition Shaquill Griffin is expected to replace him in Houston’s lineup. Grayland Arnold will fill in for Thomas, per Wilson. These maladies hit a Texans secondary that has been without Jimmie Ward over the season’s first two games. The ex-DeMeco Ryans 49ers pupil is working his way back from a hip injury. Ward also began last season out of action, opening his final 49ers season on IR due to a hamstring injury. Ward managed a limited practice Wednesday, putting him in position to debut for his new team in Week 3.
For Stingley, this is familiar territory. He missed the Texans’ final seven games last year due to a hamstring injury — one that eventually led him to IR in December. Overall, Stingley missed nine games during his rookie season. Drafted to anchor Houston’s secondary in Lovie Smith‘s defense, Stingley remains a cornerstone piece for the Ryans-led team. Stingley and Jeff Okudah are the only corners to go off a draft board in the top three during the 21st century.
The Texans dropped their previous slot corner — Desmond King — before roster-cutdown day, releasing he and linebacker Christian Kirksey. While the latter made retirement plans Thursday morning, King caught on with the Steelers. King’s exit opened the door for Thomas, who is in his third season with the Texans. Thomas, 27, has made 15 starts with his current team; he played 69% of Houston’s defensive snaps over this season’s first two games.
Thomas re-signed with the Texans on a one-year, $2.25MM deal this offseason. Houston gave Griffin a one-year pact worth $3.5MM shortly after the draft. A former Eagles UDFA, Arnold joins Thomas in being on his third Texans team. He has worked almost exclusively as a special-teamer in Houston. Twenty of his 23 defensive snaps with the team came upon replacing Thomas in Week 2.