Injury Report: Texans Vet Getting Season-Ending Surgery
Anthony R Wood
As has been the case all week, the Houston Texans' injury report is lengthy, with a number of slated starters listed as questionable. Coach Romeo Crennel's team will be hosting the New England Patriots on Sunday at noon at NRG Stadium, and given that Bill Belichick has the Pats on a two-game win streak, Houston needs all the starters it can get. ... and now comes news that is won't have safety Michael Thomas on Sunday - or for the rest of the season.
Did Not Participate
Michael Thomas, S (Shoulder) Out - And per NFL Network is undergoing season-ending surgery due to a torn pec.
Laremy Tunsil, LT (Illness) Questionable
Bryan Anger, P (Right quad) Questionable
Jacob Martin, OLB (Not injury related) Questionable
Charles Omenihu, DE (Hamstring) Questionable
Cullen Gillaspia, FB (Back) Questionable
Kenny Stills, WR (Back) Questionable
Senio Kelemete, LG (Concussion) Questionable
Duke Johnson, RB (Illness) -
READ MORE: Do Texans Have a Tunsil Problem?
Along with Thomas, who is in the final year of his Houston contract, the biggest concerns here are starting left tackle Tunsil and punter Anger. Tunsil has been a rock on this otherwise inconsistent offensive line since his arrival in 2019 and his absence would be sorely felt by quarterback Deshaun Watson and Houston's already struggling run game.
Roderick Johnson seems the most likely candidate to replace Tunsil, while Brent Qvale may also be used.
The line may also be without left guard Senio Kelemete who had taken over as starter from Max Scharping until suffering a concussion against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Scharping returned to the starting lineup against the Cleveland Browns as a result and had a decent game.
Meanwhile, Anger currently ranks fifth in the league in gross punt average (48.3 yards) and punts that were pinned inside the opponent's 20-yard line (19). If he were to miss Sunday, it seems logical they would turn to practice squad kicker Brett Maher who was an All-Conference punter in college.
Sticking with the offense and receiver Stills and full-back Gillaspia are both listed as questionable. Both have been used primarily as backups this season with Gillaspia, in particular, more of a special teamer. Wideout Keke Coutee and running back Buddy Howell could see more time offensively as a result of their potential absences, while practice squad back Scottie Phillips may also be in contention for activation.
Thankfully starting back Johnson is slated to be available Sunday after suffering from an illness this week. The dual-threat back had a strong game against the Browns last weekend and fans have reason to be excited to see him given more starting snaps this week, with David Johnson on injured reserve.
Defensively they will be without safety Thomas, with A.J. Moore likely taking his snaps.
Outside linebacker Martin is questionable having missed the last two games while on the Reserve/Covid-19 list, while defensive end Omenihu is still recovering from a hamstring injury sustained against Jacksonville and is also questionable.
Veteran defensive end/linebacker Nate Orchard was activated this week after Houston claimed him off waivers from Washington, and may well see some snaps as a result of these injuries.
Looking across the field, and as is becoming the norm for the Patriots they have listed a huge number of players as questionable. Last week there were 17, this week just 15.
Nick Folk, K (Back) Questionable
Ja'Whaun Bentley, LB (Groin) Questionable
Terez Hall, LB (Shoulder) Questionable
Adam Butler, DL (Shoulder) Questionable
Lawrence Guy, DL (Shoulder, elbow, and knee) Questionable
John Simon, DE (Elbow) Questionable
Deatrich Wise, DE (Knee and hand) Questionable
Stephon Gilmore, CB (Knee) Questionable
Damien Harris, RB (Ankle and chest) Questionable
Ryan Izzo, TE (Hamstring and hand) Questionable
Shaq Mason, G (Calf) Questionable
Joe Thuney, G (Ankle) Questionable
Isaiah Wynn, T (Ankle) Questionable
Matthew Slater, WR (Knee) Questionable
N'Keal Harry, WR (Shoulder) Questionable
At this point, who knows who the Patriots will field? Regardless, they deserve to go into this matchup the favorites given they are fresh off of a victory against the Baltimore Ravens.
The Texans face the Pats on Sunday at noon CT, with Houston looking to win just their third game of the season.