Strategy And Personnel

The Sports Xchange

December 27, 2018 at 1:43 am.


–WR Keke Coutee remains limited in practice due to his hamstring and he will remain a game time decision for Sunday.

–RB Lamar Miller is feeling better after injuring his ankle against the New York Jets that caused him to miss their last game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Expectations remain that he will be a game-time decision.

–S Mike Tyson remains in the concussion protocol and that required him to miss the last game. Tyson has experience at safety and he will be needed due to a depleted secondary due to injuries.

–WR DeAndre Hopkins is dealing with an ankle injury that kept him out of practice all last week but he was still able to play against the Eagles. Hopkins worked out prior to the game to test out his ankle but as the game progressed, it was easy to see that his left ankle was bothering him.

–CB Kareem Jackson is expected to play on Sunday after injuring his knee in the first half of the Eagles game. Jackson was riding the bike on the sideline to get loose but the Texans opted to shut him down for the remainder of the game.

–CB Johnathan Joseph has a neck issue that he suffered after making a tackle on WR Alshon Jeffery. Joseph missed time on the field but found a way back playing the final few drives with his injuries.

–ILB Brian Peters, WR Demaryius Thomas and CB Kayvon Webster were all placed on injured reserve. Thomas suffered a torn Achilles, while Webster injured his quad landing him on injured reserve for the second time this season.

–WR Steven Mitchell Jr. was signed off the Texans practice squad and added to the active roster due the injury to Demaryius Thomas. Mitchell Jr. is a rookie from USC and prior to landing with the Texans practice squad in October, he was with the Los Angeles Rams during training camp and into the season on their practice squad.

–ILB Tyrell Adams was signed to the active roster from the San Francisco 49ers practice squad. Adams was with the Texans at the beginning of the season and he blocked a punt earlier in the season against the Buffalo Bills. Adams was placed on injured reserve after the game and released with an injury settlement.

–OLB Chris Landrum and CB Michael Hunter were added to the practice squad. The Texans released ILB Keenan Gilchrist from the practice squad.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: QB Deshaun Watson. This is the reason the Texans traded up in the 2017 draft for him, for his big-game experience and that starts this weekend. Watson will be needed to have a strong game especially with a wide receiver and running back group that has sustained serious injuries over the course of the season. It will be up to Watson to provide the spark needed to get the Texans to their AFC South championship with a win.

GAME PLAN: The Texans have to find a way to get the ball moving in the run game again especially after three weeks of poor play from the offensive unit. This has not been a specific offensive line issue, it has been a running back and wide receiver issues too helping out in the run game. The Texans need one of their running backs to wake up and get back to seeing flow and using their vision to find the creases that have been there over the past few weeks.

Defensively, the Texans have to put up a controlled rush and keep Blake Bortles in the pocket forcing him to beat them with his arm. Bortles’ biggest challenge is his legs and how he can make plays on the run. Making Bortles throw the football is key for the Texans plus shutting down Leonard Fournette on the ground too.

–Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins vs Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey. These are the types of matchups that are the reason for the price of admission. The battles that Hopkins and Ramsey have had over the season have been fun ones to watch and in their last game, Hopkins had three receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown reception that pushed the Texans over the hump for the win. Expect another intense meeting between two of the top players at their position on Sunday.

–Texans RB D’Onta Foreman vs Jaguars ILB Telvin Smith. The Texans turned to Foreman last week after the injury to Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue also banged up late in that game. Foreman showed his rust and they need him to get back on track in a hurry but this week will be a tough task. With how fast Smith plays in the middle of the Jaguars defense, Foreman is going to have to be a disciplined runner getting upfield and eating up yards when he can.