A home win in the playoffs is an accomplishment for NFL franchises. Hard work, dedication, and resiliency are required for front offices to compile championship rosters. Nick Caserio and his team are experiencing the fruits of their labor. The Houston Texans will face the Cleveland Browns in a wildcard battle, but injuries may play a factor.
What does the injury report reveal about Saturday afternoon’s matchup?
The Houston Texans achieved more than they expected to this season. A well-devised plan brought the franchise from worst to first in the AFC South in less than 24 months. C.J. Stroud received most of the shine for a successful campaign. He surpassed expectations and added a new defense to a developing franchise. The rookie finished the campaign ranked tenth in yards per attempt (8.2) and 8th in passing yards (4,109). He relied on a versatile receiving core to establish a new culture in Houston.
A connection with a hungry group of receivers is helping Houston’s rookie establish himself. Nico Collins emerged as the team’s leading receiver (1,297). He ranked 7th in receiving grade (90.6) this season - one-tenth behind Amon-Ra St. Brown. When Collins was not available, Noah Brown became the go-to target. He leads the Texans in yards per reception (17.2) but is questionable heading into the weekend. Robert Woods (hip) is also questionable.
Houston Texans have multiple defensive players on the Injury Report
Protecting the end zone will increase the Texans’ chances of winning Saturday afternoon. They got outscored by 16 points in Week 16. The playoffs are the wrong time for a repeat performance. Amari Cooper gauged Houston’s secondary for 265 receiving yards. His outburst put DeMeco Ryans’ squad behind early. It became harder to cut down the deficit as the game continued.
A handful of injuries will test the depth of Matt Burke’s defense. Jonathan Greenard (ankle) and Will Anderson Jr. (ankle) did not practice Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon. They were limited on Thursday and listed as questionable heading into the weekend. Maliek Collins (Hip) and Sheldon Rankins (Shoulder) are workhorses on the defensive line. They were also questionable after three days of practice. Jerry Hughes (Ankle) did not practice all this week and joins the others as a possible option for this weekend.
A few injuries will not hinder the Houston Texans from fulfilling their destiny this weekend. They worked hard to reach the playoffs and will play hard to advance. We expect players to play in a must-win post-season matchup. There’s a lot on the line, and DeMeco Ryans needs all men ready for war.
All statistics courtesy of pff.com