Jernigan, who has had health issues in the past, never passed a physical with the team, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle hears. However, a league source tells Wilson that the defensive tackle has since been medically cleared by Dr. Robert Watkins.
Jernigan missed the bulk of the 2018 season and a good chunk of games last year. In ’18, a back injury and subsequent surgery to fix a herniated disk put Jernigan on the sideline. In ’19, he missed time with a broken foot. Before that, the former Ravens second-round pick totaled 13 sacks and 35 quarterback hits in three years with Baltimore.
Despite the injuries, the Texans saw a value opportunity in the 27-year-old (28 in September). They agreed to a one-year, $3.75MM deal with $1.25MM guaranteed, far less than the four-year, $48MM extension he got from the Eagles in the not-too-distant past. With the Texans, Jernigan could have had a tremendous platform to restore his value – he was slated to play alongside J.J. Watt on a defensive line that saw standout D.J. Reader leave in free agency.
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