Despite COVID concerns swirling around the NFL and dominating what is usually the beginning of season preview chatter, the NFL is still planning to start training camps at the end of this month, with or without a preseason.
As we head towards the end of July, professional football websites and writers are starting to gather information ahead of training camps. ESPN’s stats and information department put together nuggets of information for each team as they prepare for 2020 NFL training camps. Here is what they have to say about your fighting Houston Texans:
2019: 10-6, first in AFC South; lost in divisional round
2020 preseason FPI rank: 24th
Offense: 7 | Defense: 7
Nuggets to know
1. The Texans made one of the biggest moves of the offseason, trading three-time first-team All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals for running back David Johnson. The trade also included a swap of draft picks. Since entering the league in 2013, Hopkins ranks third in receptions (632), third in receiving yards (8,602), and second in receiving TDs (54). Johnson joins the Texans looking to resurrect his career as one of the top running backs in the NFL. In his first two seasons (2015-16), Johnson ranked third in the league in scrimmage yards (3,156) and first in scrimmage touchdowns (32), but he has been limited to 30 games over the past three seasons due to injuries and ranks 69th in scrimmage yards (2,191) since the start of 2017.
2. While the Texans traded away Hopkins, they acquired Brandin Cooks from the Rams. Over the past five seasons, Cooks ranks 10th in the NFL in receiving yards (5,180) while Hopkins ranks second (6,590). With the addition of Cooks, Houston now has three receivers who stretch the field (Kenny Stills, Will Fuller). Since the start of the 2016 season, Cooks, Stills and Fuller all rank in the top 12 in receptions on throws at least 30 yards downfield.
3. This offseason the Texans picked up the fifth-year option on quarterback Deshaun Watson’s rookie contract and the two sides have started “preliminary” discussions on a long-term deal. In 2019, Watson became the first QB in NFL history to record consecutive seasons with 25 passing TDs and five rushing scores.