Texans morning huddle: Who needs the game tonight?


It’s once again game day Texans fans! Let’s get ready for the big game tonight with some Texans news, including who this game is actually “big” for. Enjoy;

Five players who need Thursday’s Texans game to make the team – by Tania Ganguli of ESPN

"Texans coach Bill O’Brien said there are at least 10 spots out of the 53-man roster up for grabs in this final game. We’ll take a look at five players who face a make-or-break situation on Thursday when the Texans face the Cowboys at 7 p.m. CT:CB Charles James II: It wouldn’t be accurate to call James a fan favorite at this point, because Texans fans aren’t the only ones who love this guy. “Hard Knocks” has turned James into a celebrity and he’s got people across America pulling for him to make the team. The issue for James is this: cornerback is one of the Texans’ deepest positions. They have starters Kareem Jackson and Johnathan Joseph, both of whom got new deals this offseason. First-round pick Kevin Johnson and A.J. Bouye, who has starting experience, are likely locks. That leaves James, Darryl Morris and Jumal Rolle to duke it out for the last spot or two, depending on how many the Texans keep. There’s a good chance the Texans keep six cornerbacks, and with a strong showing on Thursday night, James could force himself onto the roster.OLB Kourtnei Brown: Brown has had a knack for making plays this preseason. In his first game he had two sacks. In his second he caught an interception and returned it for a touchdown. In his third he recovered a fumble. We see Brown getting yelled at a lot on “Hard Knocks” as coach Mike Vrabel tries to get more out of him. The Texans aren’t especially deep at outside linebacker after Whitney Mercilus, John Simon and Jadeveon Clowney, which gives Brown a shot. He has never been on an active NFL roster, but might be closer now than he’s ever been.WR Keshawn Martin: Martin has stuck with the Texans thanks to his versatility, both in the offense and on special teams. Five receiver spots are already set for the Texans: DeAndre Hopkins, Nate Washington, Cecil Shorts III and draft picks Jaelen Strong and Keith Mumphery. They’ll keep five receivers unless a sixth forces his way onto the team, and Martin will have to have a very strong showing to make himself that player. He’ll have to change some minds."

Bears trade for Texans tight end Khari Lee – by Jeff Dickerson of ESPN

"The Chicago Bears shuffled the bottom of their roster on Wednesday when they acquired tight end Khari Lee via a trade with the Houston Texans for a 2017 sixth-round draft pick, the club announced.The Bears waived tight end Blake Annen to make room for Lee on the 75-man roster. Annen appeared in five games for the Bears as a rookie in 2014.NFL teams must trim their rosters to the final 53 by Saturday.Lee joined the Texans this season as an undrafted free agent out of Bowie State where he caught 107 passes for 1,225 yards and four touchdowns in 40 games.The Bears also claimed tight end Gannon Sinclair off waivers from the Arizona Cardinals on Tuesday."

Texans receiver Jaelen Strong accepting advice, taking lessons to heart – by Tania Ganguli of ESPN

"The first few months of Texans receiver Jaelen Strong’s time in the NFL weren’t easy.“Unknowingly an adjustment,” he said.He had to learn how important details were in the NFL. He had to learn to study better than he did before. He had to make up for time lost early on because of a hamstring injury. With the help of mentors, from receiver Nate Washington to receivers coach Stan Hixon, Strong has made that adjustment.“Study, study, study, study,” Strong said. “Sacrifice a lot of things. I’d rather give up everything just to be perfect on the football field. That’s just how my mindset has changed. Before I was trying to take little pieces here, little pieces there. You’ve got to make that sacrifice.”Strong was featured two weeks ago on the second episode of “Hard Knocks” receiving stern lectures from Houston Texans coaches. The cameras and audio showed Washington mentoring Strong. Two weeks later the tough love seems to have paid off for Strong. He’s caught two touchdown passes this preseason.“He’s improved every week,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said. “I think that he’s taken the coaching to heart. He’s a very talented guy. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s a very instinctive player, he makes contested catches. I think that he’s improved every week. The key for Jaelen is the key for every rookie, is to keep improving.”"

Next: Houston Texans: Predicting the 53 man roster