The Houston Texans have left safety Jahleel Addae (knee) and tight end Jordan Akins (hamstring) at home, ruling them out for their game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Both Addae and Akins are vital players for their side of the ball. Without them in the most crucial game of the season, the Texans will have to adjust once again.
No Jahleel Addae
Addae was injured in the Buffalo Bills Wild Card game after being pinned under a mass of players making a tackle on a running back. Not returning to a game after the injury, Addae could not bounce back in time to recover from his knee injury.
With no Addae, the Texans will turn to veteran safety Mike Adams to take over safety snaps. Adams against the Bills had five total tackles, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble after filling in for Addae.
They could also turn to A.J. Moore to help out in pass situations. Moore has filled in the past few weeks in blitz packages and has been active off the edge.
More importantly, with Addae out, the Texans could deploy their entire cornerback group on Sunday. Lonnie Johnson, Jr. could get his opportunity to be on the field to cover the likes of Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
No Jordan Akins
The Texans played against the Bills without Akins in the offense. The offense was able to put together a game plan without one of the better pass catchers in Akins, who has helped control the middle of the field.
Cullen Gillaspia received eight offensive snaps at the Texans fullback/H-Back role in Akins' absence and threw a key block in Deshaun Watson's 20-yard touchdown run to open up the scoring against the Bills. There is a chance Gillaspia's role could expand some with an extra week of practice in the offense.
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The Texans also sprinkled in some Taiwan Jones in some spread looks for the offense. He turned in one of the biggest plays of the game with his 34-yard catch and run to set up the game-winning field goal against the Bills.
One situation to monitor is the health of starting tight end Darren Fells, who showed up with a hip issue on the injury report on Friday. Fells has been the Texans' primary tight end that handles plenty of assignments blocking in the run and passing games. If he can't play a full game, that could leave the Texans with some issues on how they like to play the game with multiple tight ends on the field.
The offense could turn to Jordan Thomas at the tight end position and give him more of a role, but the young tight end needs to establish himself early. Against the Bills, Thomas struggled to get into the flow of the game early, causing the Texans to leave Fells in for 66 offensive plays compared to Thomas' 8.
Also, the Texans will bring in their patent tackle eligible if they want an extra body who can move the line of scrimmage. Last week, against the Bills, the offense turned to Greg Mancz as their tackle eligible.
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