Tavierre Thomas

Texans CBs Derek Stingley Jr., Tavierre Thomas To Miss Time

SEPTEMBER 22: After undergoing an MRI, Stingley’s injury is likely to sideline him for six to eight weeks, Wilson notes in an update to yesterday’s report. That news confirms the initial fears that an extended absence will be coming for the 22-year-old, and an IR placement will surely be coming his way soon.

In another injury-related update to the team’s secondary, Wilson adds that starting safety Jalen Pitre will miss Houston’s Week 3 contest. The latter suffered a bruised lung in the Texans’ Week 1 loss, and he has been recovering since then with the expectation he would not miss much game time. Pitre is likely to return to practice next week, per Wilson, which should give him a strong chance of suiting up in Week 4.

SEPTEMBER 21: 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.

Steelers To Sign CB Desmond King

Desmond King did not make the Texans’ 53-man roster, but the veteran cornerback will have another opportunity soon. The Steelers are expected to add King, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The sides have agreed on a one-year deal, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

The Steelers will be a fourth team for King. The former Chargers UDFA and All-Pro has spent his career in Los Angeles, Tennessee and Houston. King has spent much of his career in the slot. The Steelers added veteran slot defender Chandon Sullivan this offseason, but it looks like they will bring in more help.

This would require a roster move, as the Steelers set their 53-man squad Tuesday. But teams will be making a host of veteran additions today, as players are moved to IR. In order for players to be eligible for in-season activations from IR, teams must carry them through to their 53-man roster and then shift them to the injured list.

While teams often use post-cutdown-day IR moves to re-sign vested veterans they recently cut, veterans released by other clubs factor into equations as well. King, 28, is a six-year vet who started 25 games for the Texans from 2021-22. Pro Football Focus viewed King’s 2022 season fondly, slotting him 20th overall among corners. King’s value as a tackler helped produce that placement; the Detroit native finished with a career-high (by a substantial margin) 10 tackles for loss last year.

The Steelers obviously go into the season with bigger goals compared to the Texans, who have produced four-, four- and three-win seasons in the 2020s. But Houston is transitioning to a new defensive scheme under DeMeco Ryans. The rebuilding AFC South team is planning to use the recently re-signed Tavierre Thomas in the slot, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson tweets, with Grayland Arnold in that mix as well.

King, who was attached to a two-year deal worth $7MM in Houston, played more than 900 defensive snaps in each of the past two seasons. The ex-Charger UDFA has also contributed regularly as a punt returner. He earned first-team All-Pro honors as both a slot corner and punt returner in 2018. Although King has not operated in a return capacity in each of his NFL seasons, he has done so frequently — including over the past two years with the Texans. King returned punts for touchdowns in 2018 and ’19.

Texans To Re-Sign DB Tavierre Thomas

Tavierre Thomas is back with the Texans. Houston has re-signed the defensive back, according to Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston (via Twitter).

Thomas got a one-year deal worth $3MM, per Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com (via Twitter). The deal includes a fully guaranteed $1.5MM base salary, a $500K signing bonus, a $250K per-game roster bonus, and $750K in playing time incentives.

The defensive back spent three years with the Browns before joining the Texans in 2021. He’s turned into a spot starter for the Texans, starting 14 of his 27 appearances. This past season, he started six of his 10 appearances, collecting 41 tackles and a pair of forced fumbles.

“Glad to be back, man,” Thomas said in a message to Wilson. “Let’s make it a great one!”

In 2023, Thomas will likely continue serving as a nickel back and contributing on special teams.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/3/22

Today’s minor moves:

Houston Texans

New Orleans Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

Washington Commanders

  • Promoted: LB De’Jon Harris

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/26/22

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Preseason Rumors: Workout, Injuries

The Texans released defensive end Jordan Jenkins this week and there will likely be plenty of interest in the six-year veteran as rosters start to come together. The first bite on the line came rather quickly as Jenkins went to Las Vegas to work out with the Raiders today, according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network.

Jenkins was a five-year starter for the Jets after being selected in the third-round of the 2016 NFL Draft. It took some time for Jenkins to find his footing, but he exploded onto the scene over the 2018 & 2019 seasons. After only recording 5.5 sacks, 7.0 tackles for loss, and 12 quarterback hits in his first two seasons, Jenkins broke out with 15.0 sacks, 15.0 tackles for loss, and 28 quarterback hits over the next two years. Jenkins also has a tendency for causing turnovers over his career with seven forced fumbles and five recoveries to date.

The Raiders are strong atop the depth chart with Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones starting and Clelin Ferrell coming off the bench. The depth behind those three, though, could be significantly improved if they can add the best version of Jenkins. Jenkins didn’t start any games for the Texans last year and struggled with injuries during his final year in New York. But if he can bounce back to his 2018-19 form, Jenkins and the Raiders might be a perfect match.

Here are a couple of updates surrounding some injuries from around the NFL this preseason:

  • Panthers center Bradley Bozeman suffered an ankle injury in practice yesterday and may lose out on the starting job because of it. After starting the last three years on Baltimore’s offensive line (the first two at left guard and the third at center), Bozeman was brought in to compete with Pat Elflein for the starting center job in Carolina. It seems he’ll lose some ground in that battle as head coach Matt Rhule announced that Bozeman will likely be out two to three weeks because of the injury, according to Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus.
  • Texans cornerback Tavierre Thomas is out indefinitely after suffering a pulled quadriceps muscle, according to a tweet from Wilson. Thomas started eight games last year for the Texans after coming over from Cleveland. The former special teams ace has begun to carve out a role in the secondary during his time in Houston. When given the opportunity last year, Thomas recorded his first two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, and four passes defensed.
  • A promising rookie season for Colts’ sixth-round pick Andrew Ogletree ended today before it could even begin after the tight end tore his ACL at practice, according to the Indy Star’s Joel A. Erickson. The 24-year-old out of Youngstown State impressed in camp this summer and was hoping to compete for the backup tight end job behind Mo Alie-Cox.

Contract Details: Dunlap, Bills, Texans, Burns

Let’s catch up on some of the latest contract details from around the league:

  • Seahawks DE Carlos Dunlap: Two-years, $13.6MM. This had previously been reported as $16.6MM, but it turns out Seattle got Dunlap back for a few million cheaper than that, as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. It’s actually a five-year pact with three years that automatically void for cap spreading purposes. As previously reported, it has $8.5MM in guaranteed money. Dunlap was set to have a $14.1MM cap charge for 2021 before the Seahawks cut him and then re-signed him to this less expensive deal.
  • Bills LB Tyler Matakevich: One-year extension. Buffalo gave their special teams ace a one-year extension through the 2022 season, which lowered his 2021 cap number to $2.95MM from $3.7MM, Matthew Fairburn of The Athletic tweets. His base salary for 2021 is now fully guaranteed. He’ll count for $3.25MM against the 2022 cap, but there will only be $750K in dead money if he’s released.
  • Texans CB Tavierre Thomas: Two-years, $4MM. We now have details on this contract, as Thomas will be getting $2MM in guaranteed money, Wilson tweets. Not bad for a player who prior to 2020 was mostly a special teams guy. He ended up playing almost 20 percent of the defensive snaps for the Browns last year as they dealt with injuries in their secondary. He got a $1MM signing bonus, a $1MM guaranteed salary for 2021, and a non-guaranteed $1.5MM salary for 2022 with $250K in per game active roster bonuses for each season.
  • Bears CB Artie Burns: One-year, $990K. The financial terms on this one were previously not reported, and it turns out the former first-round pick only got the veteran’s minimum from Chicago, Wilson tweets. The 25th pick of the 2016 draft by the Steelers got over $1MM to sign with the Bears last offseason, but then tore his ACL in August before playing a down for the team.

Texans Sign CB Tavierre Thomas

Tavierre Thomas is off to Houston. The Texans have signed the cornerback/special teamer to a two-year deal, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter). The deal is worth $4MM, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).

The 25-year-old had spent the majority of his three-year career with the Browns. After serving in mostly a special teams role in 2018 and 2019, Thomas took on more of a defensive role in 2020. The defensive back ultimately appeared in 19 percent of Cleveland’s defensive snaps this past season, finishing with a career-high 30 tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble.

The Texans have been busy adding to their secondary this week. The team signed Terrance Mitchell to a two-year deal, and they also added cornerback Tremon Smith and safety Terrence Brooks. The team has also added a handful of notable special teamers, including Andre Roberts.

AFC North Notes: Conner, Ravens, Browns

No notable extension talks between the Steelers and James Conner transpired ahead of his contract year, which doubled as a brutally ineffective season for Pittsburgh’s ground game. The team is not expected to re-sign Conner, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com notes. Considering the Pittsburgh native’s history of nagging injuries and the Steelers’ salary cap issues, this should not be especially surprising. Conner has played well in spurts, initially starting the Steelers’ post-Le’Veon Bell era so strong he made the Pro Bowl as an original invitee. However, an injury slowed Conner late in that 2018 season. He battled maladies in 2019 and ’20 as well; the cancer survivor also contracted COVID-19 last year. This will create a clear need at running back in Pittsburgh, even with the likes of Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland still under contract.

Conner may need to accept a one-year deal in order to re-establish his value, perhaps putting him in the same boat as fellow 2017 draftee Marlon Mack. These two will join Chris Carson and Kenyan Drake, barring extensions commencing before March 17, in free agency. The Packers have four days to use their franchise tag on Aaron Jones.

Here is the latest from the AFC North:

  • Financial issues likely contributed to the Steelers not adding J.J. Watt to their stable of Watts. Although the Steelers have standout defensive ends Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt, they were in the mix for the eldest Watt until the end, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. The Steelers were one of the teams mentioned as a landing spot hours after the Texans released Watt. The five-time All-Pro would have welcomed the opportunity to join his brothers, per Fowler, despite the Steelers being stacked at his position. But the former Texans superstar signed with the Cardinals, who took a clear lead in the final few days of this process.
  • Ravens GM Eric DeCosta did not seem to view the addition of a No. 1-type wide receiver as critical this offseason, and Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com adds that the team is not expected to spring for one. The Ravens have young players Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin under contract, but Hensley notes the team is unlikely to bring back Willie Snead. Signing a second-tier wideout does not sound out of the question, with several intriguing names available and more potentially coming via the cap-casualty route soon. But Baltimore’s run-oriented offense will make going the free agency route at this position more complicated. The team ranked last in wide receiver receptions (137) last season.
  • The Browns are not planning to use an RFA tender on backup defensive back and key special-teamer Tavierre Thomas, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. With the cap going down, teams may be stingier with their tender offers. Thomas could be brought back at a lower rate than what the low-end tender will cost (roughly $2.1MM), but the fourth-year player may hit the market.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Ravens, Bengals, Browns, and Steelers are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Baltimore Ravens

Practice squad:

Cincinnati Bengals

Signed:

Practice squad:

Cleveland Browns

Claimed:

Cut:

Pittsburgh Steelers

Practice squad:

* = international player
** = practice squad exception