It's not even Week 2 and the Houston Texans' hopes are already sinking. After a Week 1 loss to the Jaguars, in which they allowed 10 sacks, the Texans are likely entering their upcoming Thursday night date with the Bengals without any of their three tight ends.
On Monday, Texans coach Bill O'Brien announced that five of his players are in the concussion protocol. And with their next game scheduled for Thursday night, that means those five players will likely miss the game.
"I would say that most of those guys are probably going to be out for the game, relative to it being a short week," O'Brien said, via ESPN. "I don't know yet, but relative to the game being on Thursday night, that's usually the case based on the protocol and all the tests they have to pass to be able to get back on the field."
Those five players are:
- Linebacker Brian Cushing
- Receiver Bruce Ellington
- Tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz
- Tight end Ryan Griffin
- Tight end Stephen Anderson
And that leaves the Texans with zero tight ends on their active roster. So, it wouldn't be surprising if Evan Baylis gets promoted from the practice squad and/or if the Texans decide to bring in some outside help.
Luckily, the Texans' depleted offense will get receiver Jaelen Strong back from a suspension. Unfortunately, if the Texans are expecting Strong to make a huge difference, they're expecting too much of him. In Strong's two-year career, he's caught 28 passes for 292 yards and three touchdowns.
More bad news: Rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson, who took over for Tom Savage midway through their loss to the Jaguars, is reportedly dealing with an ankle injury. It's unknown who will get the starting nod at this point.
The only good news for Houston? They'll be playing the Bengals, who looked even worse than they did on Sunday. Just ask Andy Dalton.