After being selected in the third round by the Houston Texans last season, rookie defensive tackle Louis Nix found himself struggling to catch up following knee surgery in the offseason. A year later, Nix is struggling to make it out of Houston head coach Bill O’Brien‘s doghouse.
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Projected as a possible first round pick early last offseason, the 6-2, 331 pound defensive tackle prospect saw his stock drop considerably after a knee injury resulted in him missing five games during his final season at Notre Dame. After being drafted by the Texans 83rd overall, Nix suffered an injury to his other knee that caused him to miss all of the teams’ offseason training programs and the first three weeks of camp.
In late September, Nix suffered a season-ending wrist injury without playing a single snap during his rookie campaign. Needless to say, it was a disappointing start for the young prospect.
And after what O’Brien told reporters during the coaches’ breakfast at the NFL Annual Owner’s meetings earlier this week, Nix’s sophomore year isn’t starting off much better.
"“I have not seen Louis Nix,” O’Brien told ESPN on Tuesday. “I don’t know. He’s working out somewhere in Florida I guess. Haven’t seen him. But that’s their prerogative, so don’t read anything into that. When they show back up here for the offseason program, especially the younger players, the younger players need to be ready to roll. So hopefully he’s ready to go.”"
When O’Brien was asked what changes he needed to see from Nix from last season, the head coach responded:
"“I would say the ability to make it through a practice. That would be the biggest thing I need to see.”"
Nix was originally drafted by the Texans in part because he flashed abilities similar to All-Pro defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. Instead of simply waiting for the young prospect to develop on his own, Houston opted to sign the 33-year old Wilfork to a two-year, $9 million contract earlier this month.
O’Brien expressed his hope that Nix would take the opportunity to learn from the veteran. Of course, he might want to make it through a practice first.