In the meantime, the Texans had to figure out whether Ryans would actually want the job. According to a league source, Houston and team owner Cal McNair weren't sure whether Ryans, who once sued the Texans for negligence, would ultimately want to be the head coach for the team.
Multiple sources have told CBS Sports that's not true. In fact, one source described the Texans job as Ryans' top choice this cycle. As with anything, though, negotiations between both sides would have to continue.
Ryans, who's currently the San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator, began his NFL playing career in 2006 with the Texans where he was Defensive Rookie of the Year and then a second-team All-Pro linebacker a year later. After starring there for six years, Ryans was traded to Philadelphia in the 2012 offseason.
In 2014, Ryans tore his Achilles in a game against his former team in Houston. He'd only play one more season before retiring.
In October 2016, Ryans sued Harris County -- which owns the stadium -- the stadium management company, the turf company, the Texans and the NFL for more than $10 million. He claimed the injury was "due to the dangerous condition of the field."
"The Achilles injury at NRG Stadium prematurely ended DeMeco's noteworthy NFL career," the lawsuit read. "But for the NRG Stadium field, DeMeco would have, in reasonable probability, remained in the league for another five years."
As the lawsuit worked its way through the courts over the years, the NFL and the Texans were eventually dropped from the suit. Court records show that in July 2021, Ryans appears to have reached a settlement with Harris County, the stadium management company and the turf company. Terms of any potential settlement weren't disclosed, and multiple emails from CBS Sports to Ryans' lawyers were not returned.
The Texans have completed second interviews with Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka and Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero. In addition to Ryans, Houston is expected to also have a second interview with Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon.
NFL rules prohibit coaches on teams playing this weekend from interviewing a second time for a head coaching position until Monday.