The Houston Texans are heading into the most important part of the preseason and their third game against the New Orleans Saints will help answer some questions with the rosters. The Texans will try to treat the upcoming game as close as they do to a regular season game situation.
As the team does, we have adjusted our 53 man roster prediction from the latest game.
You can see the “Early Bird” version here .
The second one after OTAs here.
Texans 53 Man Roster 4.0
Quarterback: Matt Schaub, T.J. Yates, Case Keenum
The order does not matter at this point, but the amount of roster spots here is the concern. Three quarterbacks is a big number for the season and with question marks growing in the roster, spots are at a premium.
Runningback: Arian Foster, Ben Tate, Deji Karim
Deji Karim is the new addition and this comes down to what he does on special teams for the Texans. It will be one of the better stories of camp if he makes it, especially seeing Karim start at a camp tryout before OTAs. He has taken advantage of his opportunity and now it is time to see if he can hold on to it.
Fullback: Greg Jones
Nothing changes at this point.
Tight End: Owen Daniels, Garrett Graham, Ryan Griffin
Solid group and only getting better. The three tight end sets were good to see again against the Dolphins.
Wide Receiver: Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins, Keshawn Martin, Lestar Jean, Alan Bonner
The last two spots are still not decided and with the return of DeVier Posey this week, it will open the door for more questions. The final wide receiver spot will come down to Jean and Bonner, but the rookie (Bonner) is nursing a hamstring injury and has not appeared on the field yet for the Texans. If Posey can put together a solid two weeks, it could still mean a tough decision when the cuts come at the end.
Offensive Tackles: Duane Brown, Derek Newton,Brennan Williams, Ryan Harris
The offensive tackles are set. Williams is set to return to action after sitting out with a knee issue.
Offensive Guards: Wade Smith, Ben Jones, Brandon Brooks, David Quessenberry
The one to watch is Quessenberry and what he will bring to the table at left guard. He can start but Wade Smith is not scheduled to be out too long with his knee scope. Smith will be the starter when he gets back to 100%.
Center: Chris Myers
Defensive End: J.J. Watt, Antonio Smith, Jared Crick, Tim Jamison, Chris Jones
A strong group. Rookie Chris Jones needs to get healthy and back on the field.
Nose Tackle: Earl Mitchell, Terrell McClain
The big story was Terrell McClain taking the backup nose tackle situation over this weekend. McClain played against lesser competition in the first preseason game, but he came out and flashed in a big way on Saturday. The position is for McClain to lose but he could be a good compliment to Earl Mitchell.
Outside Linebacker: Brooks Reed, Whitney Mercilus, Sam Montgomery, Willie Jefferson, Bryan Braman
Outside of Reed and Mercilus, the outside linebacker depth is nothing but questions. The Texans will have to find the best combination for the season. Montgomery has come back which is big for the defense and Jefferson's pass rush ability is too good to pass up. Braman, who has showed some willingness to be a hustle player on defense, is too good to let go with his special teams capability.
Inside Linebacker: Brian Cushing, Darryl Sharpton, Tim Dobbins, Joe Mays
Getting them ready and healthy for week one is the most important thing for this group. The return of Cushing is a big lift for the group.
Cornerback: Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, Brice McCain, Brandon Harris,A.J. Bouye
Roc Carmichael's spotty play has left the door open for Bouye to take a roster spot. One to watch is Brandon Harris and his ability to play safety now. There were rumors of this happening prior to the season and this was the first time in a game situation. His versatility could help the roster like Alan Ball did last season.
Safety: Ed Reed, Danieal Manning, D.J. Swearinger, Shiloh Keo, Eddie Pleasant
Eddie Pleasant is one to watch. He has had some spotty special teams play and now a knee injury sustained against the Dolphins will have him behind schedule this week. The Texans have to be careful not to get themselves too thin in that position for the opening of the season.
Kicker: Randy Bullock
Punter: Shane Lechler
Long Snapper: Jon Weeks
(TE) Jake Bryne
(ILB) Cameron Collins
(OLB) Justin Tuggle
(WR) Alec Lemon
(RB) Cierre Wood
(WR) EZ Nwachukwu
(OL) Cody White
(OL) Nate Menkin
* Good chance Trevardo Williams will not make it past waivers.