The injury bug has enjoyed biting the Houston Texans throughout the 2019 season. Multiple key starters have missed some length of playing time because of injury. Wide Receiver Will Fuller has missed the past two games and may miss more because of a hamstring injury. Cornerback Bradley Roby has missed three games due to a hamstring injury. Defensive end J.J. Watt will miss the entire season after tearing his pectoral muscle a couple weeks ago. Names like Kenny Stills, Johnathan Joseph, Lonnie Johnson, Keke Coutee, Tashaun Gipson, Laremy Tunsil, and Tytus Howard have all missed at least one game this season due to injury.
Just about every nightmare scenario has happened to the Texans this season. Defensively, losing Watt for the year and playing multiple games without three of their four starters in the secondary. Offensively, the Texans frequently played without two of their best offensive linemen and their top weapons in Fuller, Stills, and Coutee. Most teams would be competing for the number one pick in next year’s draft if this happened to them. Despite all of this bad luck, the Texans are currently 6-3 coming out of the bye week.
With seven games remaining in the regular season, the Texans are not only competing for the AFC South title; they are also competing for a first round bye in the NFL Playoffs. They will not be able to accomplish any of these goals with a roster depleted by injuries.
Though Watt will not be back this season, he is fortunately the only player the Texans are not expecting back. The Texans will have their top cover corners in Roby, Gipson, Joseph, and Johnson Jr. They will have their five best starters along offensive line, including their best two linemen in Howard and Tunsil. Fuller is recovering at a fast rate and should be back in no more than a couple of games. Everyone around here knows how dangerous Fuller—and Houston’s offense—is when he is on the field.
When at full health, the Texans are one of the best teams in the NFL. They were able to achieve a 6-3 record without some of their best players. They have a big three game stretch coming up with Baltimore, Indianapolis, and New England. All of their talent will be needed if they expect to at least win two of these games, much less all three.
We should all be glad, because in the second half of the regular season, the Texans are getting healthy right in time for a crucial playoff push. If everyone stays healthy, the Texans will be a top contender to represent the AFC in this year’s Super Bowl.