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Totally Not Fake News: Bye Week

On the field, quiet. Off the field, not so much.

Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

HOUSTON, TX – This past week, the Houston Texans did not add to their ever-growing list of second-place finishes. Coincidentally, the Texans also did not actually play a game. This is not to say that the Texans just sat back idly while the rest of the league continued to bash each other’s skulls in for the amusement of the American public. For many of the team’s players, coaches, and executive personnel, there was a lot of work to be done.

For the players, it was a chance to assess the season to date, recharge the batteries, and get ready for the rest of the season. Some may have stats to be proud of, and others, well...there is always room for improvement (for some, lots and lots and lots and lots and lots get the idea).

“Been using the bye week to work on some technique and footwork drills.” noted safety Eric Murray. “After talking with Lonnie Johnson Jr., you know, the three-time runner up in the Lonnie vs. RAC dance-off, I think I have some new footwork drills ready to go to help me on the field.” Murray then proceeded to exuberantly engage in a series of complex footwork drills that looked impressive, at least for the times that he didn’t trip and fall all over himself. Murray also took pains to demonstrate a new series of arm-waving drills and sprints, which did yield some results. In ten such sessions, he kept getting closer to the practice target but still not able to quite able to stop the butterfly from crossing the goal line before he did. “Well, it worked with the limp balloon.”

Eventually, Murray hopes to catch up to this fella...
Staff photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Some players were also busy in off-field matters. Deshaun Watson continued his various off-field commitments, from helping kids out for Halloween to continuing to promote active voter registration and participation. “Gotta keep sharp on and off the field.” Asked if he ever foresaw a future in public service, Watson chuckled. “Nah, man. Already kicked the ass of a big shot historic Senator. Don’t need to worry about that stuff now. Just need to help out my own and get ready to have this team primed for the rest of the season.”

The face you make when you learn that you are facing Deshaun Watson
Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

Of course, given that the NFL trade deadline occurred on the Tuesday after the open date, there was some speculation as to whether or not the Texans might engage in some in-season trades. Last season, the Texans made a few such moves. Prior to Tuesday, there was increased speculation about some Texans players, especially All-Franchise Cornerstone J.J. Watt and wide receiver Will Fuller.

When asked about this, J.J. Watt could only shrug. “Eh, it is part of the business. People have to have something to talk about outside of the Election. Still, I don’t think that is going to happen.” Several sources confirmed that Watt would not be traded. “Yeah, right, you think we are that stupid? You saw what happened to the last guy that tried to challenge Watt. No way is that going to happen to us,” noted a front office staffer who could not reveal his identity at this time.

“Yeah, I know a team or two called about him, but that wasn’t going to get very far,” said another front office person. “Cal wasn’t really going to trade him. Likes him too much. Besides, he loses Watt, that is more revenue gone, and given how he rants about the cost of Scotch these days, it was always a non-starter.”

As for Will Fuller, he gave off the appearance of being nonchalant. “Whatever, man. Just be sitting here, tweeting and waiting. Hope to get back onto the field with my QB Deshaun and put up some huge numbers. Got a big contract to think about…er, wait, I mean, I have a team and city to think about.” When pressed about the rumors of him being sent to Green Bay, Fuller said, “Wasn’t even thinking about it. I am just kicking back, taking the time to relax, and getting ready to attack the second half of the season.”

During the course of the Zoom call with Fuller, our intrepid reporters noticed a few things. “Oh, those,” Fuller said, eyeing the Lands’ End catalogs opened to pages for heavy winter coats. “Was just looking at something for this winter. Put in a call to my mentor in Arizona to see what he thought, but never hurts to see what else is out there.”

When further questioned about other items in the office, Fuller continued, “Look, hoping to get a new sponsorship with State Farm. Was talking to someone about that. Got told, ‘Hey, when you get here, don’t steal my Discount-Double Check move (TM)…that is patented for me and me alone. You just catch touchdowns in the playoffs. Got it?’

Continued Fuller, “Perhaps it might have been fun to play for a Hall of Fame Quarterback, on a team that looks like they are going to the playoffs, and probably a good shot at getting to a Super Bowl. You know, a team with a competent GM, a head coach that really knows what he is doing, a defense that can actually get stops. A winning team. But, I don’t dwell on that. Would, er, could I have looked good in green and gold? Sure, who wouldn’t? Still, I am happy in Battle Red…I think.”

As for those trade discussions, our crack staff at TNFN was able to intercept legally obtain without engaging in any shady activity some conversations on how possible negotiations when for the team before the Trade Deadline.

Easterby: “….Sir, just heard from Green Bay. They want to make an offer for Fuller.”

McNair: “Huh, they asking if my drink is full up? Well, I could use a refill.”

Easterby: “No. They. Want. To. Make. A. Deal. To trade for Will Fuller, the Wide Receiver.”

McNair: “Oh, right. What will they give us?”

Easterby: “Well, right now, we are hearing that they want to give us a fifth.”

McNair: “A fifth! Hell yeah, I’ll take a fifth. Been running short on Scotch for a while now. Damned COVID.”

Easterby: “No, no sir. They are only offering a fifth-ROUND draft pick. Possibly a fourth.”

McNair: “Four fifths! Wowza!!! Four fifths of Scotch! God, I could use that! Tell them we will compromise and they can just give us four fifths of Jack Daniels. No Southern Comfort and damned sure none of that PBR badger pis…”


McNair: [Drunken belch/hiccup]. Oh, well, perhaps a fourth round pick will be okay-ish. Really wanted…really wanted…really wanted-ssh a seconds refill…”

Easterby: [Exasperated sigh] “Okay, Okay, Mr McNair. But you should know, for the 4th, they want us to take on some Fuller’s salary.”

McNair: “WHAT!?!?! I can barely afford-ish Southern Comfort…the hell would-I keep paying for Filler-up. You ain’t that Boob BO’B, right? No dea[sound of body hitting ground, passed out drunk].

For the want of a drink...
Photo by Tiffany Rose/WireImage

Perhaps this exchange led to reporters seeing Easterby looking wan and worried. Either that, or rumors of a possible challenger to his position in the Texans organization seem to be getting through his web of informants.

Regardless, the Texans have come through the bye week with pretty much the same team they had before it. For all concerned—drunk, sober, bitter, and/or footwork-challenged—it is on to Jacksonville.

[This segment of Totally Not Fake News is brought to you by our new Sponsor: The Super-Secret Political Action Committee to Elect Uprooted Texan Houston Texans GM. Uprooted Texan: He is the GM we need and deserve for this team during this difficult time. Vote Uprooted Texan for Houston Texans GM!!!]