The Houston Texans had a surprising move on Tuesday, preparing for the Buffalo Bills coming to town for their Wild Card matchup. The Texans placed starting safety Tashaun Gipson on the injured reserve ending his season. 

Appearing in 14 games this season, Gipson had 51 total tackles, eight pass deflections, three interceptions, which included a touchdown. 

The veteran safety reaggravated his transverse process fracture in his lower back. It was a situation Gipson had been dealing with since the middle of the season that caused him to miss two games. 

Now without Gipson, the Texans, mainly defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel is going to have to get creative to find the right combination for Saturday. 

Replacing Tashuan Gipson

Signs point to safety Jahleel Addae taking over the snaps for Gipson in his absence. Addae filled in for Gipson and took all 121 defensive snaps over that two-game stretch. The Texans were 2-0 in those games with wins over the Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars.  

The issue is when the Texans move to their sub-packages and how they adjust in their nickel and dime defenses. 

  • One option the Texans have is giving veteran safety Mike Adams the opportunity to play the third safety role behind starter Justin Reid and Jahleel Addae. Adams is a veteran presence for the Texans, and in situations like this, he is precisely whey they brought him to the roster. He could fill some necessary snaps playing the deep role next to Reid in the defenses three-safety sets against the Bills passing attack. 
  • The Texans also showed the ability to adjust with just two safeties but playing four cornerbacks on the field. The defense rolled this set out against the New England Patriots using Bradley Roby, Johnathan Joseph, Vernon Hargreaves, and Lonnie Johnson, Jr. to combat the Patriots backs out of the backfield. That group did not include Gareon Conley who missed the game due to a hip injury. This set would allow Reid and Addae to stay on the field deep with the cornerback group mixing and matching to slow down the Bills wide receivers, tight ends, and running back in the passing game. 

The loss of Gipson does not come at the best time, but Crennel has plenty of personnel options to make up for his loss. 

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