Traditionally, March is a dry zone for Houston Texans news. The organization plays it close to the vest. This is especially true with head coach Gary Kubiak, who is infamous for his coachspeak about battlin', fightin', and good kids getting better. That was not the case during the AFC Coaches media breakfast or on SportsRadio 610 earlier this afternoon.
Kubiak said there are questions about RT Derek Newton, recovering from patellar tendon surgery, being able to participate in OTAs.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) March 19, 2013
There was a throwaway line in an article two weeks ago that gave us our first taste of Newton having gone under the knife, but this is a much more significant injury than we were led to believe.
To keep it simple, the patellar tendon connects the kneecap to the shin. As you can imagine, this will significantly impact Newton, as an offensive lineman's knees are crucial to his success. Not only does Newton have to rebuild strength and flexibility in his knees to bend, move, and explode, but he has to have confidence that he can do it again. This is a big deal for Houston's 2013 plans. The fact that this passed so far under the radar for so long is a bit troubling.
Offensive tackle needs some insurance, so what will the Texans do?
Kubiak said #Texans "still very interested in" FA T Ryan Harris, & "there’s an opportunity for (Tim) Dobbins hopefully to come back."— Nick Scurfield (@NickScurfield) March 19, 2013
Ryan Harris isn't the most inspiring of insurance plans here. The Texans need to talk to a guy like Eric Winston or be looking at second and third round tackles in the NFL Draft. Ryan Harris isn't a full-season answer.
Kubiak said ILB Brian Cushing (ACL) and WR DeVier Posey (Achilles tendon) won't participate in OTAs. Cushing should be ready for camp.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) March 19, 2013
This is to be expected. The Texans, as evidenced with quarterback Matt Schaub last year, are cautious with returning players and generally keep them sidelined until July.
Kubiak: "I think what we’re looking at in DeVier (Posey) is a middle of the season possible player next year." #TexansRadio— Nick Scurfield (@NickScurfield) March 19, 2013
If this is true, the Texans, now without Kevin Walter, need a second wide receiver in a bad, bad way. With the free agent market dried up, it has to point to a first round receiver. At least, you'd hope that.
Hopefully, the Texans learned from the Darryl Sharpton fiasco in 2012. Don't rush a player back from injury. Let Posey rehab and recover at his own pace. It wouldn't surprise me to see Posey start on the Physically Unable To Perform (PUP) list and for Houston to add a veteran on a one-year contract (Walter? Chad Johnson? Anyone with a pulse?)
Kubiak on NT @earlmitchell92: "Played like a big-time player... He’s ready to make a big jump." #TexansRadio— Nick Scurfield (@NickScurfield) March 19, 2013
This sounds as if the Texans will finally move on from Shaun Cody, but I'm not holding my breath. I'm also not holding my breath that they'll draft a nose tackle to platoon or push Mitchell. Houston simply does not value the position. It's that simple.
"He'll take his time to do the right thing, but we're very much involved. No panic from any standpoint." Kubiak on S Ed Reed #TexansRadio— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) March 19, 2013
#ReedWatch continues. Given the other issues this team has yet to address, I can only hope Reed picks a team soon.
Gary is right though. It's not time to push the panic button, because right tackle and wide receiver were known areas of weakness before, but the injuries exacerbate the issue and should cause some concerns in the organization.