Should the Houston Texans add another wide receiver?
Nearly every wide receiver has been injured at some point through the first seven games of the NFL season. Should the Texans add more to the roster?
The Houston Texans are 4-3 after seven games in the 2019 NFL season, good enough for second place in the AFC South, trailing only the Indianapolis Colts in the standings. The Texans have very talented players at wide receiver on the roster, and none more talented than DeAndre Hopkins.
Other than Hopkins, the wide receivers consist of Will Fuller, Keke Coutee, Kenny Stills and DeAndre Carter. The difference, other than overall skill, between Hopkins and the rest of the wide receiver depth chart is Stills, Fuller and Coutee all have been injured this season, and at least two of them — Coutee and Fuller — have been injured in every season they’ve played for the Texans before this year.
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Stills has missed two games this season with a hamstring injury, and they were games against the Atlanta Falcons and the Kansas City Chiefs, both wins by the Texans. Coutee missed the season opener against the New Orleans Saints, which was a loss for the Texans.
Now Fuller is injured with a hamstring issue as well, and he’s scheduled to miss multiple weeks. Also with Fuller, he’s had a strange season with one game a couple weeks ago where he caught 14 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns against the Falcons. The following two games, he had a combined six receptions for 50 yards and no touchdowns, along with multiple dropped passes.
With all of the injuries sneaking up on them, what should the next move be for the Texans? They have very few draft picks left to trade, as their current 2020 draft list consists of picks in the second, fourth (two), fifth and seventh rounds. The Texans will also most likely be receiving a couple third-round compensatory picks from the NFL due to varying players leaving to other teams in free agency this past offseason.
Trading a pick from the 2020 NFL Draft for a wide receiver is probably out of the question, but what about current free agent wide receivers? Would any of the wide receivers not on a current roster in free agency — and we aren’t mentioning Antonio Brown — help the Texans moving forward if more injures keep creeping up at wide receiver?
Current NFL free agents include Michael Crabtree, Dez Bryant, Kelvin Benjamin and Pierre Garcon to name just a few veteran wide receivers on the free agent list provided by NFL Trade Rumors.
The first two on the list are big-time names, and in the past they have played extremely well on an NFL roster. Granted, the Crabtree of past great seasons wouldn’t be arriving, but having a solid veteran on the roster in case of an emergency wouldn’t hurt. Crabtree was released by the Arizona Cardinals in September after two games, and this offseason he was released by the Baltimore Ravens.
Bryant suffered an Achilles injury the first week he joined the New Orleans Saints last season, never playing a game for them after spending his entire career with the Dallas Cowboys. In all, honestly neither veteran would most likely be joining the Texans anytime soon, but Houston is getting in a same type of position they were in last year.
Let’s say the Texans want to trade for a wide receiver with one of their fourth-round picks from the ’20 NFL Draft. Would it be worth it to take a look at Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker? Kyle Posey of NinersNation.com wrote the following about Parker when discussing whether the 49ers should be trading for a wide receiver:
"“Parker has also scored a touchdown in each of the last three games. Parker has one more year left on his deal and has a cap number of $4.8 million in 2019.”"
That cap number isn’t horrible for the Texans as they do have nearly $21 million in cap space available, plus the Texans and Dolphins have been trade partners already this season. I doubt a trade like this happens, but it was a thought nonetheless.
Remember when wide receivers added up last season the week of the trade deadline? Remember when the Texans traded a fourth-round pick for Demaryius Thomas from the Denver Broncos in an attempt to overcome those injuries?
Even though Thomas played seven games with the Texans, and he totaled 23 receptions for 275 yards and two touchdowns, he too was injured with an Achilles injury.
What about the Texans’ practice squad? Who are the wide receivers on that list? The two practice squad receivers for the Texans are Chad Hansen and Steven Mitchell Jr., so that leaves a little to desire as well.
Injuries are going to happen in the NFL, and injuries to wide receivers is something the Texans are growing used to. That said, they have to be prepared for multiple injuries as well when looking at the the players on the receiver depth chart.
There are a variety of ways the Texans can add to their receiver depth chart, but it won’t be easy, and the quality of player will be determined by what the Texans will want to part ways with as they seem to be all-in this season.