The Houston Texans reported a cluster of street-free-agent tryouts on Wednesday, with a trio of names that pop up as "recognizable.'' And at least two of these names in particular point to potential issues with the current Texans backup situations.
Quarterback Cody Kessler highlights the list, which also includes running back C.J. Prosise and receiver Ryan Grant.
Kessler, the former Cleveland third-round pick, was released by the Patriots in April 1 after spending a season bouncing around on the fringes of their roster.
Prosise, a former third-round pick by Seattle, was limited by injuries starting in his rookie season of 2016. He worked out for the Lions earlier this month.
Grant, a fifth-round pick of Washington in 2014, has been an occasional starter in his NFL career, having spent time with the Raiders, Packers and Colts.
Other workout guys: defensive tackle Edgar Cerenord, offensive guard Spencer Drango, nose tackle Javier Edwards, center Jon Halapio and linebacker Deon Lacey.
As it stands, A.J. McCarron is set to be the backup to star quarterback Deshaun Watson. A veteran with experience winning in the NFL, McCarron was rarely seen his first year in Houston but nonetheless was re-signed this offseason to another one-year deal.
Given O’Brien’s history working for the Patriots and his ties to their coaching staff, it is entirely plausible that Kessler comes recommended by his former colleagues as an extra QB.
Prosise is an unexpected workout given that Houston said earlier this week that Buddy Howell looks like their third running back. With David Johnson and Duke Johnson expected to share reps this season, as well as potentially lining up together, the Texans could view themselves in need of another option. Note that Howell is a strong special-teams player.
Except for the fact that teams often conduct these workouts just as "check-ins'' on player, Texas native Grant's presence here is a slightly puzzling inclusion. He does come with experience on special teams, however.
Two defensive tackles being worked out may simply be the Texans doing their due diligence, though some would argue there is somewhat of an uncertain situation behind Ross Blacklock.
Halapio is another intriguing audition. While Nick Martin is the nailed-down starter, it isn’t as clear who will back him up. Greg Mancz has been a perennial backup for Houston since 2015, however, his injury issues could be a concern. And with the Texans having given starting left guard Max Scharping snaps at center this week, they may be looking for an alternative backup. Halapio started 15 games at center for the New York Giants last season and could be a smart addition to this improving line.