Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Texans Notebook: More Bye Week Magic? Plus Texans Paying For Their Injuries

The Houston Texans have been a different team the past two seasons coming out of the bye week, will it happen again?

Texans Notebook 

The Houston Texans had tight end Eric Tomlinson signed off their practice squad by the New York Jets. With that move, the Texans lost their emergency tight end which will put them into the market for another player to sign to their practice squad. More than likely, the Texans will try and add a tight end to the depth chart and potentially have more depth for the season. 

Tomlinson, who has been learning the Texans system for the past two seasons, was the backup Y-tight end behind C.J. Fiedorowicz. Tomlinson is an above average run blocker but now he will get his chance on an active NFL roster for the first time in his professional career. 

AFC South with the Texans on Top

Texans 5-3

Colts 4-5

Titans 4-5

Jaguars 2-6

The Texans will travel to Jacksonville this coming week for their week 10 matchup to will try and push their AFC South record to 3-0 on the season. The Texans have already defeated the Colts and Titans this season, which is setting them up well for both a potential playoff push and possibly an AFC Crown. 

There has been plenty of discussion on how poorly the AFC South has been but the Colts and Titans have remained competitive to this point of the season. The Texans are coming into a crucial stretch of the season where, under head coach Bill O’Brien, they have been better than most teams coming out of the bye week. 

Bye Week Magic

2014   Heading into the bye week: 4-5 |   After the bye week: 5-2

2015  Heading into the bye week:   3-5  |  After the bye week: 6-2

2016  Heading into the bye week: 5-3  |  After the bye week: ???

One thing Bill O’Brien and his staff have been good at is putting together a solid plan during the bye week. The Texans have shown a knack for putting together two different halves of the season since O’Brien was hired and during the past two seasons, they are 11-4 coming out of the bye week. 

Call it self-scouting but it will be interesting to see if the Texans can continue this trend that has been continuing since O’Brien has been at the helm. 

Cap Spending For the Texans on Injured Reserve 

(Troy Chapman) 

NFL CAP SPENDING ON RESERVE PLAYERS

Derek Newton landed on the Injured Reserve (IR) list for the Houston Texans.  Newton is the tenth player to be placed on the reserve list for the Houston Texans, escalating the reserve cap spending to over $26 million dollars.  This reserve roster will now account for 16.7% of the team cap spending for the 2016 league year.  How does this compare to the rest of the league?

Reserve spending is the sum of cap spending for players sent to both Injured Reserve (IR) and Physically Unable to Perform (PUP/Reserve) lists.  Non-Football Injury/Illness (NFI) are not included as teams are not obligated to pay those players’ salary. 

Top 5 Team Spending

Minnesota Vikings $30,808,029
Tampa Bay Buccaneers $27,116,243
Houston Texans $26,000,749
San Diego Chargers $24,389,052
Chicago Bears $19,193,903

Three of the bottom five teams are leading (or are tied for) their division.  Minnesota is the outlier in this group as a team with the largest reserve spending while still leading their division.  For Minnesota, the majority of their reserve spending is on offensive players, leaving their defensive unit healthy.  The Houston Texans have a spread of both offensive and defensive players on reserve, covering four starting positions.

 

Texans Versus League Average 

Houston Texans League Average
$26,000,749 $11,474,275

Bottom Five in Team Spending 

Philadelphia Eagles $1,033,542
Los Angeles Rams $1,697,500
Carolina Panthers $2,123,559
Denver Broncos $2,850,000
Seattle Seahawks $4,260,294

Injuries happen in the NFL. No team can predict them but teams can prepare for them.  The teams who draft well in the 4th and later rounds, find undrafted studs, and are able to identify street free agents to fit their scheme will stay afloat when the injury bug hits.  Sometimes injuries occur to players who cannot be replaced, players like a J.J. Watt or an Aaron Rodgers.  The best organizations find ways to fill those injury gaps with their roster and adjust the scheme to fit the players who are on the field each Sunday.

J.J. Watt $14,500,000
Derek Newton  $5,500,000
Kevin Johnson $2,283,957
Nick Martin $868,177
Devon Still $483,000
K.J. Dillon $439,910
Brennan Scarlett $382,842
Kurtis Drummond $348,000
Gerald Rivers $348,000
Ka'imi Fairbairn $335,500
Tony Washington $333,000

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