Now that Texans minicamp is in the rear view mirror, the next time we’ll have any on-field news won’t be until the team returns to The Greenbriar in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia for training camp next month.
So what can we glean from minicamp now that the long summer doldrums are setting in?
“No significant injuries” is of course the best possible outcome of any offseason work on the field. Relatedly, the news that Deshaun Watson is doing so well in his recovery from last season’s knee injury that he’s dropped the knee brace might be the highlight of the entire offseason to this point.
Aside from Watson, the best news out of minicamp in my eyes may be that Kareem Jackson is apparently (finally) making the transition to safety. I’m sure he’ll continue to play corner in certain packages and/or situations, but it seems he’s actively learning a new position and this is nothing but great news. I think Jackson could even excel at the position, especially in the mold of a classic “box” safety.
Speaking of safeties, there’s been a lot of talk about how players are already gravitating to Tyrann Mathieu as he quickly becomes a team leader. Mathieu hasn’t been shy about saying how he’d like to concentrate on the safety position and apparently Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel is obliging.
Obviously the news about Andre Hal’s lymphoma diagnosis is a gut punch. Far less important are the on-field implications, though they’re sure to be discussed at length. Perhaps rookie Justin Reid will now compete for a starting position, or maybe the aforementioned Jackson will slide into a starting safety role alongside Mathieu.
Another piece of unfortunate news released during minicamp was that third-round rookie offensive lineman Martinas Rankin suffered a foot injury that required surgery earlier in the offseason. Rankin is said to be out until the start of the regular season, meaning he is likely to miss all or most of training camp. This could be more significant than it sounds on the surface, especially if it means “starting right tackle Seantrel Henderson”. Rankin’s position certainly wasn’t locked in, but many felt he could compete for that right tackle job.
We knew going into minicamp Jadeveon Clowney wouldn’t attend due to his recovery from an offseason knee surgery, and of course his contract situation (unlike Benardrick McKinney now) is still up in the air. The longer both the knee recovery and the contract situations linger, the more cause for concern - but I don’t anticipate either of these being a problem once the season starts in September. For what it’s worth, Bill O’Brien says Clowney guaranteed he’d be there when training camp begins late next month.
Sure, I’ve left out some good, bad, and indifferent news from minicamp, but I’m saving some bandwidth for you. Please share some of the tidbits you may have seen in the comments below, and enjoy your Friday!