Houston Texans: Injury report prior to Week 1
By Jair Lopez
Several injured contributors for the Houston Texans should be ready to go on Sunday when they face the New England Patriots in Gillette Stadium.
Week 1 of the regular season continues to get closer, and for the Houston Texans they have had some player injured during the preseason who now seem ready to return for the regular season opener.
Texans cornerback Kevin Johnson is close to returning after suffering a concussion early in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Rams in the third preseason game. With the little depth that there is at the outside cornerback position, Johnson returning will allow the secondary to field their best players and remain competitive.
Starting outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus seems to be a full go after not playing in any of the 2018 Texans preseason games. Rookie outside linebacker Duke Ejiofor also missed the past couple preseason games, but there aren’t many reports voicing the severity of the injury, so it seems he will be ready to play if needed for the first game of the season. The Texans defense is mainly healthy entering their first regular season game which is greatly needed when facing the Patriots on the road.
Offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson seems to be also ready to be active for his first game as a Texan in the regular season according to a report from Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Henderson was out for the latter part of the preseason recovering from surgery after removing a noncancerous cyst. From a financial perspective, Henderson benefits from being in the active game day roster because he has a bonus for every week he suits up for the team.
Texans kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn also is ready to go after missing the majority of the preseason with a minor injury. The Texans seem confident he will suit up for Sunday or else they would have made a team transaction and added another kicker.
Without any report telling the contrary, wide receiver Will Fuller seems to be ready to go for the regular season opener after missing the last two preseason games with a minor hamstring injury. Fuller will play an integral role in the offense and serve as the main deep threat that will stretch the field vertically and allow ample space for the tight ends and slot receivers to operate.
Rookie cornerback Jermaine Kelly Jr. has been placed on the injured reserve (IR) and subject to return later on in the season if healthy. Meanwhile running back D’onta Foreman was left on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
As mandated by the league, Foreman won’t be able to return until Week 7. However, Foreman will be able to remain with the team and be in the meetings. Rehabbing from an Achilles injury is always an arduous process, and there is no incentive to rush back him back on the field if he isn’t 100 percent healthy.
As seen in the season prior, their health will dictate how successful their team is. The Texans could be one of the best teams in the league if health remains on their side.