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Battle Red View: The Texans’ Walking Wounded Project

If you stop and look at the injuries the Texans have had to deal with, it’s kind of mind-blowing.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans
The Injury Bug Has Its Teeth Deep in the Texans
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans started this season with so much promise despite having two key players on the injury report even before training camp began: Pro Bowlers J.J. Watt and Duane Brown. Word on the street back then was that both would be back in time to start this season off with a bang.

Since then, it seems the undercurrent of news from the Texans’ camp is constantly flowing with injuries that have blown massive holes in the original depth chart.

Click here to view the first depth chart of the preseason.

Rookie Center Nick Martin, the younger brother of Dallas Cowboy’s pro bowl right guard Zack Martin, was touted as a plug and play Pro Bowl caliber center that would anchor Houston’s line for the next decade.

Martin didn’t make it out of August before being placed on injured reserve.

New kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn, who many thought had the potential unseat Nick Novak, joined Martin on IR as the team was finalizing its initial 53-man roster.

On the opening drive of Week One, Brian Cushing went down with a knee injury and missed a few games.

Two games later, after returning from back surgery in less than two months, J.J. Watt admitted to being human after all, not from the planet Krypton like so many believed. Watt underwent season-ending surgery and was placed on IR soon thereafter.

Running back Jonathan Grimes broke his leg and is in the midst of recovery.

Exciting new tight end Stephen Anderson has missed several games (though he’s expected to return soon), as has has rookie wide receiver and offensive Swiss army knife Braxton Miller (though he was back in the lineup last week against the Colts).

Kareem Jackson, a starting cornerback, suffered a hamstring injury; he hasn’t played in a couple of weeks. Starting safety Quintin Demps went to the trainer’s table to join him.

Then rookie laser beam turned wide receiver Will Fuller naturally pulled his hamstring, forcing him to miss the Colts game.

Now, this week, we learned that rookie safety K.J. Dillon reportedly tore his ACL and slot corner Kevin Johnson broke his foot. Both are likely lost for the season.

These are just the major points.

Let’s face it. Glancing at that preseason depth chart, then removing all these players, has the Texans’ roster starting to look like Swiss cheese.

Yet Houston is still 4-2 and at the top of the AFC South.

4-2 without the full services of:

  • Nick Martin
  • Ka’imi Fairbairn
  • Duane Brown
  • J.J. Watt
  • Brian Cushing
  • Stephen Anderson
  • Jonathan Grimes
  • Braxton Miller
  • Kareem Jackson
  • Quintin Demps
  • Will Fuller

From here on out, they’re looking to move forward without the play of Johnson and Dillon as well.

To say the Texans have done well to go 4-2 in light of this is an understatement.

The holes must be filled. While there’s enough depth to plug some holes, the depth guys must have depth players behind them too. Adjustments have to be made.

We’re going to turn it over to you, our readers, to play general manager. Who would you bring in to fill the roster spots? The trade deadline is approaching, there are free agents waiting for the phone to ring, there are practice squad players available – maybe even retired guys that might be coaxed back for one more go of it. Who would you target?