|Offense||29th||116.2 (8th)||198.5 (29th)|
|Defense||1st||99.7 (12th)||201.6 (2nd)|
|Allen, RaShaun||TE||6-4||250||2/25/1990||2||Southern University|
|68||Bergstrom, Tony (FA)||C||6-5||315||8/8/1986||6||Utah|
|28||Blue, Alfred||RB||6-2||225||4/27/1991||4||Louisiana State|
|76||Brown, Duane||T||6-4||315||8/30/1985||10||Virginia Tech|
|53||Bullough, Max||ILB||6-3||245||2/11/1992||3||Michigan State|
|Carter, Cory||P||5-10||185||//||R||Texas Southern|
|Clark, Chris||T||6-5||305||10/1/1985||9||Southern Mississippi|
|90||Clowney, Jadeveon||DE||6-5||270||2/14/1993||4||South Carolina|
|50||Dent, Akeem (FA)||OLB||6-1||250||9/27/1987||7||Georgia|
|36||Dillon, K.J.||SAF||6-0||200||5/11/1993||2||West Virginia|
|23||Drummond, Kurtis||FS||6-1||208||1/29/1992||3||Michigan State|
|34||Ervin, Tyler||RB||5-10||185||10/7/1993||2||San Jose State|
|15||Fuller, Will||WR||6-0||180||4/16/1994||2||Notre Dame|
|Gibson, Laurence||T||6-6||305||3/19/1991||1||Virginia Tech|
|41||Grimes, Jonathan (FA)||RB||5-10||210||12/21/1989||5||William & Mary|
|93||Heath, Joel||DE||6-5||300||6/18/1993||2||Michigan State|
|Hilliard, Kenny||RB||5-11||226||10/3/1991||1||Louisiana State|
|30||Johnson, Kevin||CB||6-0||185||8/5/1992||3||Wake Forest|
|24||Joseph, Johnathan||CB||5-11||185||4/16/1984||12||South Carolina|
|97||Kamalu, Ufomba||DE||6-6||297||11/2/1992||2||Miami (Fla.)|
|63||Lamm, Kendall||T||6-6||310||6/5/1992||3||Appalachian State|
|9||Lechler, Shane||P||6-2||230||8/7/1976||18||Texas A&M|
|61||Lee, Eric||LB||6-3||260||8/6/1994||1||South Florida|
|66||Martin, Nick||C||6-4||299||4/29/1993||2||Notre Dame|
|55||McKinney, Benardrick||ILB||6-4||260||11/19/1992||3||Mississippi State|
|13||Miller, Braxton||WR||6-1||205||11/30/1992||2||Ohio State|
|26||Miller, Lamar||RB||5-10||220||4/25/1991||6||Miami (Fla.)|
|12||Mumphery, Keith||WR||6-0||210||6/5/1992||3||Michigan State|
|Nelson, Robert||DB||5-10||180||2/16/1990||3||Arizona State|
|72||Newton, Derek||T||6-6||315||11/16/1987||7||Arkansas State|
|52||Peters, Brian||LB||6-4||240||10/31/1988||3||Northwestern (Ia)|
|77||Quessenberry, David (FA)||T||6-5||306||8/24/1990||3||San Jose State|
|42||Rashad, Shakeel||LB||6-2||235||3/17/1994||1||North Carolina|
|22||Rice, Denzel||SAF||6-0||196||3/31/1993||2||Coastal Carolina|
|94||Smith, Antonio (FA)||DE||6-3||290||10/21/1981||14||Oklahoma State|
|91||Still, Devon (FA)||DT||6-5||305||7/11/1989||5||Penn State|
|11||Strong, Jaelen||WR||6-2||205||1/25/1994||3||Arizona State|
|73||Walker, Josh||G||6-5||328||6/2/1991||3||Middle Tennessee State|
|5||Weeden, Brandon||QB||6-4||230||10/14/1983||6||Oklahoma State|
|75||Wilfork, Vince (FA)||NT||6-2||325||11/4/1981||14||Miami (Fla.)|
|82||Williams, Wendall||WR||5-10||185||9/18/1990||1||Cumberland College|
|Leonard, Richard (IR)||CB||5-9||170||9/2/1991||R||Florida International|
|Team||OLine Avg. Ht||OLine Avg. Wt||DLine Avg. Ht||DLine Avg. Wt||Avg. Age||Youngest||Oldest|
The Texans were very cautious in how it deployed their regulars as they wanted to be in the best possible health for this week's playoff game against Oakland. McKinney emerged as Houston's leading tackler this season, both overall (129 tackles) and solo (79), and his five sacks ranked third for the team that finished first in defense (301.3 ypg).
O'Brien said Watson will have to sit and learn behind Savage and Brandon Weeden, though it's clear the long-range plan is for Watson to be Houston's franchise quarterback. Savage, by dint of his experience in the offense, is the likely starter Week 1.
Hilliard, who finished the season on the Texans' practice squad, is yet to see any game action since being taken in the seventh round out of LSU back in 2015. He'll likely contend for No. 3 duties behind Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue.
Hal's illness apparently isn't serious enough to keep him sidelined, so he's slated to start at free safety per usual.
The Texans long ago made the obvious decision to exercise the fifth-year option on Hopkins' rookie contract, locking him in at a team-friendly salary of $7.915 million for 2017. Though a disappointing 2016 season may have slightly reduced his value, the 24-year-old still figures to seek a long-term extension that pays him like the No. 1 wide receiver he is. The Texans likely will be amenable to discussion, as it's hard to argue that Hopkins' down season wasn't largely a result of poor quarterback play. He's yet to miss a game through four NFL seasons, catching 317 passes for 4,487 yards and 23 touchdowns while playing alongside a slew of sub-par quarterbacks.
A converted quarterback, Miller contributed little as a wideout during his rookie season, hauling in 15 of 28 passes for 99 yards and one touchdown in 10 games. His season effectively ended after Week 13, though, when he sustained an AC joint sprain as the result of a hard fall on his right shoulder at Lambeau Field. Now healthy, he intends to focus his offseason efforts on continuing to learn the nuances of the position.
Fiedorowicz capped off the finest of his three-year career with his fifth touchdown catch. Pigeon-holed as a blocking tight end the first two years of his NFL career, Fiedorowicz busted out with 89 targets, 54 receptions, 559 yards and four touchdowns over 15 regular-season games. His elevation as a target was borne out of necessity as quarterback Brock Osweiler's rapport with his wideouts was fleeting. Osweiler still has one guaranteed year left on his contract and is the presumed starter next year. If the timing problems with wideouts DeAndre Hopkins or Will Fuller persist, Fiedorowicz has now proven he can handle a larger role.
Dunn recorded three combined tackles in two games played for the Texans this season.
At the conclusion of the preseason, the 2015 undrafted free agent was waived/injured before getting placed on IR one day later. An unsubstantiated report from the Houston Chronicle on Sept. 8 claimed the Texans and Washington reached an injury settlement as the result of a chest injury, but he in fact remained on injured reserve throughout the campaign. As the offseason progresses, he'll look to compete for a depth role at outside linebacker.
Dillon's injury appeared to be serious right out of the gate, and the MRI results didn't bode well for much optimism as he'll miss the remainder of his rookie season. The Texans signed veteran Don Jones on Wednesday to provide depth at safety in Dillon's absence.
Scarlett missed nearly two months after injuring his hamstring in Week 6, but the Texans designated him to return from injured reserve earlier this week, and they made the move official Saturday. Scarlett could have a chance to see action right away with fellow linebackers John Simon (chest) and Whitney Mercilus (back) both out for Week 15.
Heath injured his knee in the Texans' divisional-round loss to the Patriots on Saturday. While the extent of his injury wasn't reported, it isn't expected to require surgery. Nonetheless, the MRI results will provide a much clearer picture.
Jones, who was with the Texans during training camp, rejoins the club after it was announced that Braxton Miller had been placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. With Miller and Jaelen Strong (ankle) on IR, the Texans added Wendall Williams from the practice unit and needed Jones for additional depth.
Jackson read the eyes of Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles and undercut an out route to give Houston a lead before the offense ever stepped onto the field. He missed some time this season due to a hamstring injury, but has been back three weeks now and registered 11 tackles over the last two games.
Pleasant had his best season as a professional in 2015, his fourth professional season. He had his first two interceptions and his first forced fumble, and he set career highs with 36 tackles and six passes defensed. Along with the career-best line, Pleasant played 36.6 percent of the Texans' defensive snaps last season, a career high, and he played 44.6 percent of the team's special teams snaps. Those changes indicate he's steadily getting a larger role on the defense, and his statistical improvement is promising for the coming season. He'll likely see an increased role on defense, but it would be surprising if he suddenly becomes relevant in many IDP leagues.
Peters hasn't seen game action since Week 5, but is now healthy to play. He projects to assume a backup role at inside linebacker.
Drummond hurt his leg during preseason Week 1 against San Francisco.
Cushing dealt with knee, back, ankle, and shoulder injuries throughout the 2016 campaign but didn't miss any time due to his shoulder ailment. His other injuries aren't expected to require surgery and he isn't expected to be held out of any offseason practices.
Running back Demitrius Bronson, wide receiver Douglas McNeil, tight end RaShaun Allen, tackle Justin Renfrow, guards Nate Isles and Drew Nowak, defensive ends Ryan Robinson and Julius Warmsley, defensive tackle Jimmy Staten, linebacker Mike Zimmer and safety Dion Bailey will look to compete for spots on the final 53-man roster in 2015.
A week after a two-fumble afternoon, Hunt didn't see an uptick in usage despite starter Lamar Miller on the shelf - Alfred Blue picking up the majority of the load. Hunt has yet to score this season and hasn't reached double-digit offensive snaps since Week 11, but he might be in line for an uptick in usage as the season ends. Miller is still battling a bum ankle and, with their seed set, Houston might be inclined to rest Miller and Blue for the playoffs.
Blue played just four offensive snaps against the Patriots and just nine in Houston's two playoff games. He was effective in spurts for the Texans, rushing 100 times for 420 yards and one touchdown this season, but he's clearly a backup and will not be a premier back in 2017. We saw that he wasn't an effective lead back in 2015, so it's unlikely the Texans would go that way should Lamar Miller not be in a position to top the depth chart.
Novak came through with what may have been a career-best season in 2016, converting a franchise-record 35 field goals for a Texans team that struggled to find the end zone. While Novak hasn't shown much prowess from distance in his career, he turned the corner last season, nailing 4-of-7 attempts from 50 yards or longer. The terms of his new contract with the Texans aren't yet known, but given that Novak is set to turn 36 in August, his deal likely doesn't include much guaranteed money.
The left guard spot was presumed to be Su'a-Filo's when training camp started, but poor conditioning and a calf injury cleared the spot for Jeff Adams, who was lost for the season with a knee injury. Bottom line, Su'a-Filo is back and could grab the starting job.
Newton, 27, started 46 games over the last three seasons. He received the highest run-block grade among any right tackles last season, according to Pro Football Focus.
Brown spent the entire offseason rehabbing from a torn quadriceps and missed the season's first four games, and he held up against one of the league's best defensive fronts.
Walker was promoted from the practice squad after the team parted ways with fellow lineman Jeff Adams. The 25-year-old will likely serve as backup behind starting right guard Jeff Allen and could play a role on special teams.
Covington's availability was in some question after he didn't practice Friday and suited up in only a limited capacity Thursday, but it appears he's ready to go. He's slated to serve as the starter at the end spot opposite J.J. Watt, though he doesn't figure to offer much IDP utility.
Martin was placed on IR during the preseason after having surgery to repair a high-ankle sprain. The rookie has been working to recover and come into offseason work completely healthy. He'll look to make his regular season debut along the Texans offensive line in 2017.
Miller missed Houston's final two regular season games due to shoulder, ankle and rib injuries, which came after he racked up a career-high 299 touches through just 14 games. While an increased workload was part of what made Miller's fantasy stock more appealing with the Texans than it previously was with the Dolphins, such exertion took its toll over the course of the campaign. Admittedly, Houston's at times horrid passing game left little alternative to calling Miller's number, so along with looking to improve through the air this year, the team will also hope monitoring Miller's duties will produce better results in the long haul.
Strong has been sidelined since spraining his ankle in late October, and his season will now come to an end. He's appeared in just 18 games throughout the first two years of his career, and caught 28 total passes on 48 targets for 292 yards and three touchdowns, but no scores in 2016.
They traded up from the 25th pick to make the selection, giving up their 2018 first-round pick in the process. Bill O'Brien is generally known as a coach who prefers, tall, heavy quarterbacks with strong arms, but Watson decisively cuts against that mold. He also cuts against the mold of the likes of Brock Osweiler and Tom Savage in the sense that he can actually throw a football at the NFL level. Watson might initially struggle as he adjusts to the speed of NFL defenses, but his unparalleled success at Clemson (97 total touchdowns in his last 30 games) and consecutive National Championship appearances imply that he's capable of adapting. It doesn't hurt that he'll have a very good group of pass catchers waiting for him in Houston. If Tom Savage is the only competition the Texans can muster, it's hard to imagine Watson anywhere but the starting lineup in Week 1. As a talented runner with plenty of surrounding help, Watson could make a surprisingly big fantasy impact as a rookie with a little luck.
Cunningham sees himself as an inside linebacker but he'll need to get bigger to man that spot in the NFL. O'Brien feels he can play on special teams immediately and serve as depth at inside linebacker where he can be groomed by veteran Brian Cushing for an eventual starting job alongside Bernardrick McKinney. Athleticism is Cunningham's greatest asset. He covers ground, is adept at pursuing, and could probably step in right away as a third-down backer.
Williams was promoted to the active roster from the practice squad earlier in the week and was pressed into duty. The Texans had a new look passing attack Sunday after head coach Bill O'Brien yanked an ineffective Brock Osweiler for Tom Savage. The change resulted in a different targret distribution, which included getting some balls to Williams. It's unknown at this point if O'Brien will keep Savage as the starter, but if he does, Williams could sneak in as the third wideout ahead of Keith Mumphery
It's unclear what Still's injury is, since he played in the Texans' Week 4 loss to the Patriots. Brandon Dunn was promoted from the practice squad to fill Still's spot on the defensive line.
After catching 49 total passes in his first three seasons, Griffin blew up with 50 grabs in 2016, racking up 442 yards and two touchdowns. He and C.J. Fiedorowicz comprise a promising tight end corps for the Texans. Additionally, Griffin's return will be a significant road block for Stephen Anderson, who saw just 130 snaps as a rookie in 2016.
Fairbairn was attempting to usurp the placekicking job from Nick Novak, but hadn't played in preseason Week 2 or 3 due to the injury. They like his potential and want to evaluate him as a future kicking option.
While Mumphery played an increased role over the final several weeks of the regular season, overall he was used much less than he was during his rookie 2015 season. He was replaced as the team's main returner on special teams, and opened the year on the inactive list for five of the first eight games. It was only when Braxton Miller (shoulder) and Jaelen Strong (ankle) were placed on IR did Mumphery get some opportunities. He's signed for another two years and has knowledge of the offense, so Mumphery is expected to return in 2017, but he'll be fifth on the depth chart if Miller and Strong are healthy.
Clowney, the first overall pick in 2014, is now under contract with the Texans through the 2018 campaign. After having a minor arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in January, if Clowney remains healthy, he could sign a long-term extension prior to next season. Nonetheless, the 24-year-old will now have the comfort of not entering a contract year this term. After moving from outside linebacker to defensive end last season, Clowney showed just why he was so highly regarded coming out of college, registering 52 tackles and six sacks in 14 games while being named to his first Pro Bowl along the way.
Smith was held out of practice entirely on Wednesday but he appears to be recovered now and isn't expected to miss more time due to the injury.
Fuller had little impact on yet another game, but his end-zone drop of a beautifully thrown pass will burn in the Texans' mind all offseason. The rookie has been a non-entity since Week 5 as NFL cornerbacks got more physical with him, limiting him to just 31 yards per game over his final 10 regular-season games. Getting in better condition to handle the press coverage he's been getting will be a top offseason priority, but he also needs to eliminate the drops that we saw all season long. He's got a wealth of speed and can separate, but if he can't get off the line of scrimmage or hang onto balls consistently, what good is that speed?
The Texans have declared Tom Savage out for the playoff game, so Weeden becomes active for the just third time this season. No knock on Weeden, but Osweiler would have to be hurt or play awfully for Houston coach Bill O'Brien to make a switch.
Gibson joins the Texans after spending time with Dallas, the franchise that drafted him in the seventh round of the 2015 draft, as well as stints with the Chiefs, Falcons and Bears. Houston has a couple of injuries on the offensive line -- Jeff Allen (concussion) did not practice Wednesday and Chris Clark (ankle) was limited -- so Gibson is seen as insurance.
Wilfork is currently an unrestricted free agent after spending the past two seasons with the Texans. At 35 years old and with 13 NFL seasons in the books, Wilfork is obviously coming to the end of his playing career. While the five-time Pro Bowler said last month he's in no rush to make a decision, Smith's expectation echoes the sentiment that Wilfork has played his final snap.
Reader injured his shoulder last week against the Chargers. While he was limited in practice this week, his restrictions were likely a precautionary measure to ensure his availability for Week 13.
While Houston's tight ends have been productive this season, there's not enough targets for three of them, so Anderson will have to settle for limited looks after C.J. Fiedorowicz and Ryan Griffin get attention. Anderson has caught all five balls thrown his way over the past four weeks.
Johnson was placed on injured reserve back in October due to a broken foot and he only recently had surgery. It was originally thought that his foot would be able to heal on it's own but after a few months it was decided surgery would speed the healing process along. Though it will take him longer to return than initially though, Johnson shouldn't miss any offseason programs come April.
Grimes' 54 yards from scrimmage were the third highest on the team behind Lamar Miller (89 yards) and DeAndre Hopkins (65). He played a total of 26 snaps over Houston's two playoff games, getting more run on offense than Alfred Blue. He's spent all or parts of the last five seasons with Houston, so he's a known commodity who understands the system. Whether that's enough for Houston to bring him back for 2017 is open to question. They have other in-house options who come cheaper -- 2016 third-round draft pick Tyler Ervin and exclusive-rights free agent Akeem Hunt.
Passing-down work represented Ervin's realistic path to early playing time on offense, but the Texans ultimately preferred both Lamar Miller and Jonathan Grimes to the rookie in those situations. Ervin thus got most of his playing time on special teams, where a pair of lost fumbles outweighed his middling work picking up yardage as a returner. It was a disappointing rookie season on the whole, but with a year under his belt and Grimes currently unsigned, Ervin could get more of a shot to contribute on passing downs in 2017. Miller still figures to be heavily involved through the air, but backup running back Alfred Blue is rarely used on obvious passing downs. Given his struggles with ball security as a rookie, It remains to be seen if Ervin will reprise his role as the primary return man for punts and/or kickoffs. The team will probably at least give him some competition for the jobs. Ervin should have plenty of time to recover from the concussion he suffered during the playoffs.
Ballentine began the season on the PUP list due to a knee injury and suffered his groin injury just a few games after being activated. He'll finish the year with just two games played.
Lechler will turn 41 in August but he proved last season that he's still one of the best punters in the league. In what was his 17th NFL season, Lechler averaged 47.5 yards per punt and had 30 kicks downed inside the 20. Given his extensive and impressive track record, he figures to have another consistently solid year in 2017.
Bergstrom was expected to compete for Houston's starting center job entering last season's organized team activities, but played only three offensive snaps in 2016. Greg Mancz, meanwhile, played 99.82 percent of the team's offensive snaps at center, signaling that Bergstrom must have fallen out of favor with the Texans at some point during last offseason. He will likely look to find a job with another NFL team before training camp starts.
Dent will be available for Week 1 against the Bears. He'll back up at inside linebacker, giving Brian Cushing and/or Benardrick McKinney a breather.
“I will be back out there,” Quessenberry told the Texans' team site. “That will be a special day. I’ve been through a lot. That’s something that’s been a vision of mine throughout this whole process.”
Selected in the sixth round of the 2013 draft, Quessenberry has yet to log an NFL snap. He was placed on IR with a foot injury his rookie season and then received the cancer diagnosis last summer.
Quessenberry isn't cleared to resume football activities but he has been working out and lifting weights with his teammates. Texans coach Bill O'Brien said it's not out of the question that Quessenberry plays this season.
“I would say that this season is a possibility,” O’Brien said. “I would not rule it out. I would not rule it out, but we haven’t come to that determination yet.
Mercilus, who had two sacks in last week's win over Oakland, now has six sacks in three postseason games. He and Jadeveon Clowney were quite active Saturday, harassing New England quarterback Tom Brady all night as the Texans defense made this game tight until mid-way through the fourth quarter. Mercilus returns next season after leading Houston with 7.5 sacks over 15 regular-season games. With a healthy J.J. Watt (back) occupying blockers next season, Mercilus will be in a good position to generate a greater amount of sacks. He had 12 in 2015 when Watt was healthy.
Watt was limited to just three games last season after requiring two back operations in the span of six months, but the defensive behemoth has been cleared for all physical activities since the beginning of February, so rejoining his teammates for the Texans' offseason program came as expected Monday. According to Watt, he now has a better understanding of how to approach his rehab and training regime to avoid overexerting himself, and believes increased caution in that regard with help him stay fresh ahead of this season. Considering his MVP pedigree, the Texans will be elated to have Watt back and focused on remaining healthy, and will use their offseason program to get him prepared for a full return to football activities.
Kamalu has been working out at outside linebacker since signing with Houston and will serve as insurance in Sunday's road game at San Diego after the team ruled starting John Simon out due to a chest injury. Kamalu is a 6-foot-6, 295-pound undrafted free agent from the University of Miami.