HOUSTON - In desperate need of help on the defensive side of the ball, the Houston Texans reached out to current free agent safety, Earl Thomas, to schedule a workout on Tuesday.
Thomas has 713 tackles, 78 passes defended, and 30 interceptions throughout his NFL career, and has made the Pro Bowl in seven of his nine NFL seasons, including three-straight First-Team All-Pro Nods from 2012-2014.
Seemingly out of nowhere, however, that workout with the Orange, Texas native was suddenly canceled, and the Texans were back to square one in their secondary.
During a zoom call on Wednesday morning, Texans head coach Bill O'Brien explained to the media exactly what happened with Thomas, and what caused the team to elect to put things on hold following the announcement of the COVID-19 breakout with the Tennessee Titans.
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"Earl Thomas is a hell of a player, he’s had a great career," O'Brien said. "Again, we had a bunch of guys in and we decided to cancel. We’ll see how it goes moving forward. That’s really what it was. It’s not anything other than that and we’ve got a lot of respect for Earl. We had a bunch of guys in here ready to work out. We said instead of keeping those guys holed up in a hotel, potentially to be there for several days, we didn’t know at that point, it was better for us to just cancel the workouts."
However, the Texans still elected to hold workouts for quarterbacks Kelly Bryant and Shea Patterson, as well as wide receiver Trevor Davis, and cornerback Nate Brooks.
So why cancel with Thomas specifically? O'Brien was less clear on that front. However, when asked about Thomas' troubled past with the Ravens and Seahawks, O'Brien was quick to point out that his issues were not on the Texans' mind when the asked him to come in.
"Look, at the end of the day, we try to look at everybody, whoever's available, talk to them, we work them out, we physical them," O'Brien said. "We try to look at them relative to the Houston Texans, at any position."
For now, the Texans will have to try and make it work with the short-handed secondary they have, which lost A.J. Moore to injury last week, and has given up six passing touchdowns in three weeks.