Monday was cutdown day at Reliant Park, as the Houston Texans made a series of roster moves to get down to the required 75 players by the 3:00 pm deadline. The Texans had to reduce the roster by 15 players from the 90 who were in camp to get to the 75. Of those 15 roster cuts, 11 players were released, 2 players were waived/injured, 1 player was placed the PUP list and 1 on the season ending injury reserve list.
Of the 11 players who were released, two notables who were on the team last season were P Brett Hartmann and WR Bryant Johnson. Hartmann was the Texans’ punter last season as an undrafted rookie free agent until suffering a season ending knee injury in week 13. He set a team record by averaging 44.4 yards per punt and 23 touchbacks as he doubled as the kickoff specialist. Free agent veteran P Donnie Jones has had an excellent preseason, thus making Hartmann expendable. Johnson was brought back by the Texans shortly after the start of training camp to add a veteran to a young receiving core. However, with second year player LeStar Jean and rookie Keshawn Martin both playing well, he had limited opportunities to play this preseason.
The other nine players who were released Monday were, rookie T Nick Mondek, G Kasey Studdard, FB Derell Smith, C Thomas Austin, LB Omar Gathier, WR Mario Louis, RB Davin Meggett, CB Torri Williams and DE Jimmy Saddler-McQueen. Mondek was the Texan’s 6th round pick in this year’s draft. The two players who were waived/injured were NT Rashon Harris and LB Greg Williams. If no other team claims either player, the Texans can retain their rights by placing them on IR.
They would be joining rookie K Randy Bullock, who was placed on IR with a torn muscle in his groin. This gives the kicking competition to Shayne Graham, with whom Bullock had been involved in a tight competition with throughout camp and the preseason. Bullock’s groin had been bothering him for a couple of weeks but he still managed to kick through it pretty well the past two preseason games. When he reported to Reliant on Sunday he could not lift his leg at all and coach Gary Kubiak announced at his press conference that Bullock was heading to the IR and his season was over.
The last roster move the Texans made was placing LB Daryl Sharpton on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. Sharpton, who was aiming to return from a season ending knee injury last season, had a setback the first week of camp and has been sidelined all preseason. By being placed on the PUP, he must sit out the first 6 games of the season but will be eligible to come off of the PUP and be placed on the active roster anytime after that.