HOUSTON — Houston Texans rookie cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. missed his second consecutive game Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. In Stingley's absence, the Texans allowed the Dolphins to record 305 receiving yards, as quarterback Tua Tagovailoa put together another MVP-caliber performance.
The production of Houston's secondary has taken a step back since Stingley suffered a mid-hamstring injury. But according to coach Lovie Smith, Stingley is "getting better."
"It’s tough when you lose your No. 1 corner, but that’s life in the NFL too," Smith said. "Guys get hurt. Can’t wait to get him back. I didn’t like the way we started [Sunday]. But in the second half, I thought the guys did a little bit of a better job of covering and competing a little bit better on some of the passes."
Stingley has quietly put together a solid rookie campaign. The LSU prospect is the only rookie cornerback who has not allowed a touchdown this season while registering 43 tackles, five pass deflections and 1.0 sacks.
Stingley's first injury scare came during the Texans' Week 4 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
The injury occurred midway through the fourth quarter after Stingley made a tackle on Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams. He re-entered the game twice after two quick evaluations by the team's medical staff.
Stingley appeared in the Texans' 13-6 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars the following week. He recorded his first career interception following Trevor Lawrence's pass attempt to wide receiver Zay Jones.
Since Stingley's absence, nickel defensive back Desmond King has started in his absence over the previous two games.
"That’s tough because I know it’s his rookie year," King said. "Keep your head up and keep working and get back healthy."
You can follow Coty M. Davis on Twitter at @CotyDavis_24
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