Of the years since Johnathan Joseph ascended to the sub-elite tier of NFL cornerbacks — you know, the one just below Darrelle Revis — the 2012 campaign is probably one to forget from an individual standpoint even if the Houston Texans as a whole enjoyed a better season than any team Joseph’s been on here or back with the Cincinnati Bengals.
However, after adding such a crucial element to the Texans defense in finishing with the ninth-highest Pro Football Focus grade in 2011 at the cornerback position, Joseph’s second year saw him fall to 43rd. However, it turns out not only was Joseph dealing with groin and hamstring injuries down the stretch but also two hernias.
“Two” and “hernias” are probably two of the most awful words to have next to each other, and he played through much of that.
“I had both those (sports hernias) fixed,” Joseph said, via Comcast SportsNet Houston. “Now I have more pop, more explosion with my legs. I can run all day again. … I’m just glad to have it behind me,” Joseph said. “I’m feeling better than I’ve ever felt. … And I’m having probably the best OTAs (organized team activities) I’ve had in four or five years.”
This is absolutely critical, as Houston’s defense dive-bombed over the second half of the season with Joseph dealing with nagging injuries. The development of Kareem Jackson at the other starting corner spot has been a revelation, but having two upper-echelon cornerbacks would be a huge for a Wade Phillips‘ aggressive defense that puts a ton of pressure on its secondary.