The Texans depth at safety will have a tough battle in training camp

The Houston Texans likely keep four safeties on their 53-man roster, and the top three will be Calen Bullock, Jalen Pitre, and Jimmie Ward.
New Orleans Saints v Houston Texans
New Orleans Saints v Houston Texans / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Houston Texans are likely to keep four safeties on their 53-man roster. The top three will likely be Calen Bullock, Jalen Pitre, and Jimmie Ward, but the team will need a fourth, so, who will that be? Two players will be fighting for that job, Eric Murray and Lonnie Johnson Jr. Johnson is here for his second stint, and this is Murray’s third team after signing in 2020. Both players give the team a different skill set, but there isn’t enough room on the roster to keep both. So let’s get into this training camp battle. 

Lonnie Johnson Jr

Lonnie Johnson Jr hasn’t found much success since entering the league in 2019. In his first stint with the Texans, he totaled three interceptions and 172 tackles in three seasons. Since then, he’s signed with three other teams, the Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans, and New Orleans Saints, but never played a snap for the Chiefs. He needs a big off-season for Demeco Ryans and co. to value him over players like Eric Murray who have been on the roster longer and found success. In his first stint with Houston, Lonnie Johnson Jr played special teams and recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs. However, he must prove he can do it at a higher level than Murray this time. At 28 years old, this may be his last chance in the NFL.

Eric Murray

Eric Murray has started in 29 games for the Texans since arriving here and has a stat total of one interception, 187 tackles, and six passes defended. No matter how many different regimes Houston goes through, each one likes Murray and notices the value he brings to the defense and the special teams unit. That proves true after Houston gave Murray a one-year extension this off-season. That shouldn’t change this season, as the Texans continue to bring in competition at safety. Murray played over 400+ special teams snaps in 2022 and recorded 10 tackles. 

Depth chart

Jalen Pitre
Jimmie Ward
Calen Bullock
Lonnie Johnson Jr
Eric Murray
MJ Stewart
Brandon Hill


The Texans have great depth at the safety position. Unfortunately for them, however, they don’t have enough room to keep more than four safeties on the active roster. Eric Murray brings safety depth while providing Houston with great special teams playmaking. Lonnie Johnson Jr comes in and gives you depth at cornerback and safety. Unfortunately for him, the Texans have more depth at cornerback than they can handle, so his services may not be needed anymore. There’s a good chance whoever they cut between these two lands on the practice squad, but they can’t have both on the 53-man roster. 

My prediction: Eric Murray