It's Tyrell's Turn As Texans LB
HOUSTON - Benardrick McKinney didn't play in the Houston Texans' first win of the season, this one coming Sunday over the Jacksonville Jaguars, which meant thrusting Tyrell Adams into duty.
Adams acquitted himself well scoring a career-high in tackles and recovering a fumble for the team's defense. And now?
Days later, as McKinney headed to injured reserve with a shoulder injury that ended his season, Adams owns a chance to make the spot next to Zach Cunningham his.
"T-A, Tyrell Adams, he stepped in and did a nice job Sunday," said interim Texans head coach Romeo Crennel after the 30-14 win. "He was running around making plays."
And make plays he did. Adams was in on 13 tackles for the team and recovered a fumble. He boasted seven solo takedowns as well filling in for McKinney. Both his tackle numbers were team-highs. He also recorded his first tackle for a loss of his young NFL career.
Said Adams: "Honestly, man, it's a blessing. I couldn't enjoy it any better. I'm just thankful for it. I just try to put my best foot forward."
The journey from an undrafted player to a perennial starter has been a long road for Adams.
Adams went undrafted in 2015 out of West Georgia and didn't make his NFL debut until he was on his third team in his fifth stint in the NFL, playing for the Raiders in late 2016. He joined the Texans in 2018 playing on special teams and blocking a punt. The Texans would release him in the middle of the season only to bring him back later in the season from the 49ers practice squad.
In 2019, Adams would get waived by the team as the roster cut down for the regular season again finding himself on the practice squad. Early in the season Adams would again find himself on the 53-man roster and would go on to start a couple of games and play in five regular-season games total and both the playoff contests.
Primarily playing on special teams before McKinney's injury, Adams nearly equaled his 2019 output in one game against the Jaguars making the most of his chance.
"When you lose a really good player it's hard to replace right away," Crennel said about McKinney's absence. "We're going to have to make an adjustment right away."
Crennel mentioned the team's addition of former Raiders practice-squad linebacker Kyle Emanuel and his NFL experience, Emanuel has totaled 64 career NFL games, but the coach was quick to note he liked what he saw from Adams this past week.
"I noticed,'' Crennel said, "as the game went on I think he became more comfortable and his reads became a little quicker and doing the things that he needed to do."
While Emanuel has the NFL experience, Adams possesses knowledge of this Texans team and already filled in nicely with McKinney out. His next task is not an easy one. The Tennessee Titans boast a far more formidable offense than Jacksonville, and 2019 rushing champion Derrick Henry awaits Adams in his new role as the starter.