Houston Texans Injury Updates

Texans CB Johnathan Joseph is questionable for Sunday's game against the Jaguars. He's dealing with a new neck injury but managed limited practices all week. We'll check his status Sunday morning.

Texans CB Kareem Jackson left Sunday's loss to the Eagles early with a knee injury and did not return despite lobbying coaches to let him back into the game, according to the Houston Chronicle. HC Bill O'Brien said Monday, though, that he thinks Jackson will be able to return for next Sunday's clash with Jacksonville. We'll keep an eye on his status heading into the weekend.

Texans CB Johnathan Joseph is questionable for Sunday's game against the Eagles. A hip injury limited his participation for Wednesday and Thursday before an illness kept Joseph out altogether Friday. We'll check his status Sunday morning. The hip is a new issue, but Joseph played 71 of 75 snaps in last Saturday's win over the Jets.

Texans LB Zach Cunningham is questionable for Sunday's game at Washington as he tries to return from the knee injury that cost him Week 9. Cunningham put in limited practices all week. We'll check his availability Sunday morning.

Texans LB Zach Cunningham is reportedly nearing a return from the knee injury that cost him Week 9, though it's not yet clear when he'll be back. "I think he's trending toward being able to play," HC Bill O'Brien said Monday, according to USA Today. “Possibly against the Redskins, but I would say definitely the following week.” Houston visits Washington this Sunday. We'll keep an eye on Cunningham as a potential Week 11 IDP option. Fantasy owners should at least expect to have him available for Week 12.

Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (groin) is questionable for Sunday's game against the Broncos. He didn't appear on the Wednesday injury report but then was limited Thursday and Friday. Clowney says he's ready to play against the Broncos, though. We'll confirm his status Sunday.

The Texans expect ILB Zach Cunningham to miss "at least a few weeks" with the knee injury that knocked him out of their Week 8 win over the Dolphins, according to the Houston Chronicle. Replacing Cunningham will reportedly include moving Brennan Scarlett and Peter Kalambayi in from OLB, along with using reserve ILBs Josh Keyes and Brian Peters. That glut of names means IDP folks shouldn't expect any 1 player to come anywhere close to Cunningham's fantasy production. Fellow ILB starter Benardrick McKinney could see an uptick in tackles while Cunningham's out. He sits comfortably in LB1 territory in our Week 9 IDP rankings.

Texans OLB/DE Jadeveon Clowney (back) will not play today against the Titans, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. That takes 1 of the best players off the Houston defense, but Tennessee's multitude of offensive injuries -- plus the Texans' remaining talent -- still leaves plenty of fantasy upside for Week 2. Houston remains 1 of the strongest team-defense options for the week.

Update: Clowney is officially inactive.

Texans OLB Whitney Mercilus has missed about 2 weeks or workouts with a hamstring injury, as well as the team's 1st 2 exhibition contests. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports that the team doesn't expect Mercilus to appear in the final 2 games either but does expect him to return for the regular-season opener. Over 6 seasons, Mercilus has only topped 7.5 sacks once -- when he delivered 12 in 2015. If the defense stays healthy, Mercilus will find himself in a good situation for sack upside. We'll keep an eye on the hamstring.

Texans HC Bill O'Brien has confirmed that DE J.J. Watt's back injury will cost him the rest of the season. In case you were holding out hope for a return in a deep redraft IDP league, it's time to dump Watt everywhere.

Texans DE J.J. Watt re-injured his back in last Thursday's loss at New England and is now expected to miss significant time, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Watt reportedly might even miss the rest of the season. We hadn't heard anything about the injury in nearly a week since the game, but Watt missed all of training camp and the preseason following summer surgery on his back. Watt publicly brushed off his empty stat line in the contest and seemed ready to rebound. His absence would obviously significantly hurt the Houston defense and take a top IDP contributor out of fantasy football lineups. You might want to hang on to Watt until the team confirms his status, but it's also time to make other plans.

Update: The Texans have placed Watt on IR. Feel free to dump him unless you have an IR spot to stash him in (and no other option for that spot with a nearer return date).

Texans LB Brian Cushing left in the 1st half against the Bears with what initially looked like a worrisome knee injury. But the team has deemed him questionable to return. We'll keep an eye on his status.

Update: Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston reports that Cushing suffered a sprained ligament that will cost him "a few games."

Texans DE J.J. Watt had back surgery recently and will start training camp on the PUP list, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. McClain reports that Watt "should be ready" for the regular season. It'd be nice to hear something more certain, but we'll see how this thing progresses. Watt played through a number of injuries last season, with his productivity dropping only when he played with a cast on his broken thumb. It's worrisome that he had the surgery so late in the offseason, and we've knocked Watt's projected numbers down a bit. But he started from such a dominant place vs. the rest of his position that he'll remain the clear #1 fantasy D-lineman at least until the situation actually threatens games. The surgery does, however, threaten Watt's status as the top overall IDP off the board. Losing him for any time would also obviously deal a huge blow to Houston's team D.

Texans OLB Whitney Mercilus missed the team's spring workouts with a hamstring injury, but he told the Houston Chronicle this week that he expects to be ready for the start of training camp. Mercilus finished last season by earning AFC defensive player of the month honors for December and racked up a career-high 12 sacks. That beat his previous high by 5. Mercilus retains double-digit sack potential in 1 of the league's better defenses, especially with J.J. Watt commanding attention and former #1 pick Jadeveon Clowney seemingly working toward greater impact. Keep Mercilus in mind as a potential spot-start value late in your IDP draft.

8:08pm EDT 10/30/15

The Texans on Friday deemed DE J.J. Watt questionable for Sunday's game against the Titans. But Watt returned to practice Friday, and ESPN reports that HC Bill O'Brien said he looked "ready to go." Watt missed Wednesday and Thursday workouts with what O'Brien reportedly deemed a minor back injury. Start Watt in your IDP lineup this weekend.

Texans S Quintin Demps will miss Thursday night's game against the Colts because of a hamstring injury. There's no fantasy-worthy option stepping into the lineup in his place.

Texans LB Brian Cushing followed a disappointing 2014 season by having knee, wrist and ankle surgeries. That would seem to set him up as a poor IDP bet for the coming season -- but not if you listen to Cushing. "I'm moving like my old self, I'm feeling like my old self," he told the Houston Chronicle on Monday. "I'm not worried about my knee or other injuries or needing any slack or anything really holding me back. It's awesome." At full strength, Cushing can put up top-15 fantasy numbers among LBs. We're not betting on him returning to that level this year, given the myriad recent injuries. But we're moving him up the IDP rankings for the last weekend of drafting before the season starts. If Cushing goes down again, most leagues present solid, readily available replacement options.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney has progressed so well from his microfracture knee surgery that "the goal is to have him on the practice field when camp begins." The 2nd-year man figures to work back in slowly after seeing time in only 4 games and landing on IR with a serious knee injury. We'll be quite curious to see how he performs on that repaired joint this summer and whether Clowney can prove ready to start by the regular season.

The National Football Post reports that Texans LB Brian Cushing recently had surgery to repair a broken right wrist. Cushing reportedly played through the injury for some portion of last season, not realizing it was broken for at least part of that time. Cushing will reportedly need 3 months to rehab the injury. That's no big concern with training camp more than 5 months away. Playing through the issue might help explain some of his 2014 struggles, but it's also yet another injury for a guy who has had multiple leg problems -- including a 2012 ACL tear and 2013 fibula fracture. At 28, Cushing should be in his prime, but treat him with caution as an IDP option going forward given the packed injury history.

Texans CB Johnathan Joseph said Monday that he has passed through the league's concussion protocol and will be ready to play at Cleveland in Week 11. Joseph suffered the injury early in the Week 9 loss to Philly. Houston will still be down its other starting CB, Kareem Jackson, who is expected to miss at least another 2-3 weeks with a knee injury also suffered in the Philly loss. Jackson's absence shouldn't alter the fantasy outlook for the Texans' team D and doesn't significantly impact the value for any Browns offensive player.

 
 
 

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