Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Texans Nuggets: Veteran Leadership From Within and More

The Houston Texans enter the week one of the regular season and here is some news and tidbits on some decisions made on the roster.

Quick notes Heading into the first regular season game for the Houston Texans. 

J.J. Watt Inches Closer To His 2016 Debut

We are done guessing at what J.J. Watt had done with his back and rightfully so. He had surgery the week before the start of training camp and now all signs are pointing to him getting back on the field for week one for the Chicago Bears. The craziness surrounding the short timetable with Watt's injury was being closely monitored by the team doctors, now with a passing of his conditioning test last weekend and now passing his physical. Watt is cleared for football and getting back on the field for the Texans. There is no reason to even guess on how many plays he will get on Sunday against the Bears because of the hurdles he has crossed to this point to even be ready for the start of the season. 

Extension of the Roster Texans use the practice squad as part player development and part an extension of their roster. Players like Quenton Bundrage, Eric Lee, Ufomba Kamalu, Joseph Cheek, and Shakeel Rashad will continue to develop with an NFL schedule which could provide good returns. Players like Akeem Hunt, Eric Tomlinson, Brandon Dunn, Robert Nelson, and Chad Slade would more than likely get the first call if anything goes awry with players in their positions. It is a good mix of the now and the future plans for the Texans moving forward. 

The Reshard Cliett Conundrum 

The Reshard Cliett mystery came down to the Texans liking what their former draft pick has done for them since coming back from his rookie season ACL injury but opting to develop Shakeel Rashad over him on the practice squad. The team currently wanted to go in a different direction and literally had “no room” for him on the practice squad, with focus now on Rashad.  Cliett had a few teams call about him, the Denver Bronocs for one, to check on his availability but, at this point, he will sit and wait until something comes to light in the meantime. 

Veteran Presence is Bigger than a Position Group 

The Texans decided to move on from Cecil Shorts III. The writing began to be on the wall back to the end of mandatory mini-camp, when the organization asked him to take a pay cut in order to stay with the team. Shorts had a clear idea what was coming but, more importantly, brings into focus the topic of the lack of veteran presence in the wide receiver room, minus DeAndre Hopkins. The Texans will depend on players like Tom Savage, Brandon Weeden, C.J. Fiedorowicz, Ryan Griffin and, of course, Brock Osweiler to continually show the way to their young group. 

The Texans had a clear picture that Will Fuller VBraxton Miller and Stephen Anderson would be part of their plans this season. Bill O’Brien, Sean Ryan, and John Perry, along with Osweiler and Hopkins took out time to make sure that the rookies did not have much time to themselves on the field. Talking to them during stretching, in between plays, and right after plays kept the young players engaged and looking at what they could do better the next play. O’Brien would always make sure before practice started that he had a talk with both of his young receivers and that is something that stood out at camp. 

Also, Osweiler took both Fuller and Miller under his wing during the preseason and, with the rookies in makeshift lockers in the middle of the locker room, Miller and Fuller’s lockers were back up to Osweiler and Tom Savage’s by design. The Texans created an environment to help both Fuller and Miller succeed and credit goes to the youngsters for making strong strides as players early. The veteran presence was built collectively as a group rather than by the individual player in this Texans offense. 

53 Man Roster Updates 

UDFAs Make the Final Roster: Brennan Scarlett | Joel Heath | Stephen Anderson

Preseason Game Three Rundown | K.J. Dillon Making His Mark | Texans Roster Prediction: Version 4.0 | Tyler Ervin Settling In with the Texans | Braxton Miller Is Learning From the Best  

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