What Does Healthy Starters Mean to Houston Texans' Rookies?

By Cooper Welch
Dennis Johnson
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans are required to have their roster down to 53 players by 5 p.m. CT on Saturday, and have already made a few moves.

Dennis Johnson, an undrafted free agent rookie from the University of Arkansas, was seen by many as the Curly to Arian Foster‘s Moe and Ben Tate’s Larry. He thoroughly impressed the Texans in rookie and training camp, and even had 129 rushing yards and a touchdown over four preseason games.

But he also fumbled the ball six times, which is a huge no-no when playing for Gary Kubiak. 

Other players that received their walking papers today include defensive lineman Chris Jones and safety Jawanza Starling. Jones is a sixth-round draft pick out of Bowling Green State, and was originally drafted as a backup to nose tackle Earl Mitchell. But it looks like he lost that job to Terrell McClain, and will now be on the practice squad if he clears waivers.

No other roster cuts should be announced until tomorrow, but this some other news for the Texans’ roster.

A.J. Bouye should be a safe bet to make the roster, as should Cierre Wood. Trevardo Williams injured his knee against the Cowboys, and it could be severe enough to land him on the injured reserve (which would open another spot for someone else).

Ed Reed has been activated off of the PUP list, which could be another reason that Starling was cut. The decision on whether Reed will play will come Monday or Tuesday, according to Kubiak. But I’d say it’s unlikely that a player would go straight from PUP to playing.

Kubiak has yet to make a decision on who will back up Matt Schaub, and it is definitely a tough decision. Both Case Keenum and T.J. Yates have really impressed in the four games that they’ve played in. Neither has thrown an interception, and Yates was even statistically better than Schaub over this month.

DeVier Posey is back and will probably start in Week 1. DeAndre Hopkins is still in the NFL‘s concussion protocols, but there’s only about a 20 percent chance he misses the first game. Foster and Whitney Mercilus both missed the entire preseason, but their overall health now looks pretty good. Expect them to start in Week 1.

Cooper Welch is a Houston Texans writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @cooperwelch1991, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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