It’s been an interesting offseason for the Houston Texans, to say the least. The franchise is in a state of turmoil and it’s unknown when the front office will be able to turn everything around. It’s still unclear whether Deshaun Watson plays this year, but it seems more likely by the day he’ll eventually be on a new team.
The roster is bad and it’s clear this franchise is going into a rebuild. Their best bet will be to keep as many young players on the roster and get rid of any veterans fighting for depth roles. We may see the Texans trade their key players away down the road as a way to gain as much draft capital in the coming years.
For now, the Texans head into training camp with one of the worst rosters in the league. The coaching staff hopes to find some hidden gems amongst the group, as that would be a great place for the Texans to build upon. Look for Houston to keep younger talent on the team, as this will be a focal point of their rebuild. With that said, here are three cut candidates on the Texans’ roster bubble entering training camp.
After being released by the Baltimore Ravens, the Houston Texans signed Mark Ingram to a one-year deal. Ingram dealt with injuries that sidelined him for five games. The arrival of JK Dobbins in the back half of the season didn’t do him any favors either. Mark Ingram was a great running back in 2019 but fell off the edge of the cliff last year.
He’s now a part of a loaded backfield in Houston and it’ll be tough to find him playing time. David Johnson will likely be the starter, Phillip Lindsay will get his fair share of carries, and Rex Burkhead is a very underrated back. Ingram will have to prove himself in training camp, but the odds are not in his favor.
Chris Conley has had a roller coaster of a career but seems to make the team every year. He spent his first four years with the Kansas City Chiefs then spent the last two with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Conley now finds himself in a bad wide receiver group in Houston, but due to his inefficiency throughout his career, the Texans would be wise to look elsewhere for production.
Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb are likely the starters for Houston this year, while Andre Roberts has a chance to shine as the third option. Many believe Nico Collins was a big steal in the 2021 NFL Draft, as he has a ton of potential to become a star. Conley will have to impress in training camp and prove himself in the preseason if he hopes to earn a spot on the final roster.
Hardy Nickerson Jr.
Hardy Nickerson Jr. is entering the fifth year of his career and will be competing for a backup role in the Texans linebacker group. The odds are stacked against him though, as the Texans are relatively strong at inside linebacker. The starting and key backups are essentially a lock already, as Zach Cunningham leads the way for this defense.
Hardy hasn’t produced much throughout his career, as he’s recorded just 95 total tackles in a four-year span. The Texans will likely cut him from the roster and look for someone else in a different position to fill that spot.