Injury Report: Two Texans Starters Hit By Illness
Anthony R Wood
With the Houston Texans preparing to host the New England Patriots this Sunday, training has begun without a fair few familiar faces. One or two absences, in particular, could be cause for concern if they cannot return asap.
Did Not Participate
Bryan Anger, P (Right quad)
Michael Thomas, S (Shoulder)
Duke Johnson, RB (Illness)
Laremy Tunsil, LT (Illness)
Kenny Stills, WR (Back)
Charles Omenihu, DE (Hamstring)
Jacob Martin, OLB (Not injury related)
Senio Kelemete, G (Concussion)
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The biggest surprise addition to the injury report this week is punter Anger. The 32-year old is in his second season with the Texans, having replaced Trevor Daniel in 2019. Dealing with a quad issue in his kicking leg is a concern, however, they do have former Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher on the practice squad who punted in college.
Backup safety and key special-teamer Thomas was a non-participant with a shoulder injury and would be a loss for the Texans, given his increased presence on defense since Week 5. Thankfully, if he were to miss this week's game, the team do have fellow backup defensive back A.J. Moore back on the active roster who returned from injured reserve to play last week.
On offense, wide receiver Stills will be one to watch, however, the team is lucky to be relatively deep at the position and could play Keke Coutee in his place.
The biggest concerns will be starters running back Johnson and left tackle Tunsil. Both listed as non-participants due to an illness (said to be non-COVID), the severity of their respective situations is not known. The Texans would likely use either Roderick Johnson or Brent Qvale should Tunsil remain unavailable this week, while C.J. Prosise would be the next running back up.
In more positive news, outside linebacker Martin returns from his COVID-19 related absence at a position of need, while defensive end Charles Omenihu continues to work towards returning from a hamstring injury sustained against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Left guard Kelemete also left the Jags game after going down with a concussion and was replaced by Max Scharping against the Browns. Kelemete had been having a decent season until he went down, and the starting spot this week could go either way should he clear the concussion protocol.
Looking across the field and the Pats have a lengthy injury report to start the week.
Nick Folk, K (Back)
Ja'Whaun Bentley, LB (Groin)
Terez Hall, LB (Shoulder)
Adam Butler, DL (Shoulder)
Lawrence Guy, DL (Shoulder, elbow, and knee)
John Simon, DE (Elbow)
Deatrich Wise, DE (Knee and hand)
Stephon Gilmore, CB (Knee)
Damien Harris, RB (Ankle and chest)
Ryan Izzo, TE (Hamstring and hand)
Shaq Mason, G (Calf)
Joe Thuney, G (Ankle)
Isaiah Wynn, T (ankle)
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It's unlucky No. 13 to start the week for Bill Belichick's men. That being said, their injury report was extensive last week also and yet they managed a second straight win.
In 10 games to date, Houston has only beaten New England twice. Romeo Crennel's Texans will be looking to beat the odds this week as they host the Pats at noon central time.