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.
Here are Wednesday’s AFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.
Davis Mills and Kyle Allen sit atop Houston’s QB depth chart, making Jeff Driskel expendable, but there’s a chance the veteran sticks around as a third quarterback via the practice squad. Driskel spent the 2021 campaign in Houston, getting into a single game. He’s started nine of his 16 career games, tossing 13 touchdowns vs. eight interceptions.
The Lions’ new running back, Jackson, has found a second home after playing out his rookie contract in Los Angeles. The former seventh-round pick out of Northwestern spent his time with the Chargers backing up starting running back Austin Ekeler, earning a few starts during Ekeler’s more injury-riddled periods. Despite not receiving many touches, Jackson has made the most of each one averaging 5.0 yards per carry during his four-year career in the NFL to total 1,040 rushing yards and four touchdowns, adding 508 yards receiving on 65 receptions. Jackson will compete with Craig Reynolds and Jermar Jefferson for the reserve positions behind the top-two backs, D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams.
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.