The Houston Texans are at crossroads with their secondary and most importantly one of their young defensive backs hasn’t panned out.
Houston Texans cornerback Kevin Johnson announced in an exit interview that he was medically cleared to play next season. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reported that Johnson expects to play with the team next season, writing the following:
"“They told me I’m cleared, good to go and I’m in great shape moving forward,” Johnson said. “I’m feeling good. I’m going to be ready to go next season."
The Texans defense needs players capable of contributing at the cornerback position, but Johnson hasn’t been able to play at a high level for a while now. After suffering two concussions this season, there has to be a lot of concern moving forward of his ability to play in the league again. This is the third concussion Johnson has encountered since entering the league as a rookie in 2015, every player’s head injuries are different, but having three concussions in four seasons is worrisome.
Texans could manage Johnson’s situation similar to how they did with tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz and mutually agree that the best move moving forward is for him to retire or part ways. Since being drafted in the first round in 2015, Johnson has played 49 out of 64 regular season games. Through four seasons, Johnson has 122 combined tackles, 14 pass deflections, and one interception.
However, his best season to date was his rookie year where he played in all 16 games and had 54 combined tackles, nine pass deflections, and the only interception of his career. After that successful rookie season, he has suffered foot, knee, hand and head injuries. It’s difficult to play at a high level in this league, especially at cornerback, with so many injuries.
The Texans exercised his fifth-year option in 2019 that is guaranteed due to injury, but the coaching staff and the front office will have to decide if keeping is the best move after all the uncertainty with his health and at the cornerback position.
The defense is in need of upgrading the cornerback position with Johnathan Joseph reaching 35 years of age next season, Kareem Jackson hitting free agency, and Aaron Colvin struggling to make an impact in his first season with the team.