The Houston Texans collectively held their breath on Sunday afternoon as first-round offensive lineman, Tytus Howard, went down with what was originally feared to be a torn ACL.
“It may have looked worse than it really was,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said after the game. “Hopefully, we can get him back at some point.”
The good news for both Howard and the Texans is that the rookie did not suffer a season-ending torn ACL, but did suffered a partially torn MCL that will likely keep him sidelined for a substantial amount of time, albeit not the remainder of the year.
Texans rookie offensive tackle Tytus Howard did NOT tear ACL, tests confirm. He has a partially torn medial collateral ligament and shouldn't require surgery and should be able to return this season, according to league sources
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) October 14, 2019
After Howard was carted off in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, he was replaced by Roderick Johnson, who will likely remain in that role until Howard returns.
In six games this season, Howard had taken 302 offensive snaps, allowing just one sack while being penalized three times. His 61.8 Pro Football Focus grade is middle of the pack when it comes to offensive tackles.
The NFL’s Week 4 included a game in which two teams scored 95 combined points, a late rally to keep the Kansas City Chiefs unbeaten, and the highly-awaited debut of a rookie quarterback in Washington. It also brought its fair share of disappointments — and some of them had to do with those exact storylines.
Who underwhelmed in Week 4? Here are 10 big disappointments.
Dallas Cowboys’ offense
The Dallas Cowboys’ offense looked pretty awesome the first few weeks of the season as they started off 3-0 and scored over 30 points in every game. On Sunday night in New Orleans, their offense went missing. Dak Prescott failed to throw a touchdown for the first time all season. His 6.8 yards per attempt was his lowest of the year. The rushing game was arguably worse and went for just 45 yards on 20 carries. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for just 35 yards on 18 carries with a long of six. Both he and Jason Witten lost fumbles in consecutive possessions before halftime. When they needed big drives late in the game, they ended up punting twice. A 12-10 loss was a rude awakening for a team that had been great through three weeks.
Los Angeles Rams
What happened here? The Rams scored 40 but gave up 55 to a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that has been inconsistent at best. Jameis Winston went for 385 yards and four touchdowns. A lot of that was set up by quality field position owing to four turnovers by Jared Goff, including three interceptions and a late fumble that was returned for a Tampa Bay touchdown. This will raise a lot of new questions about Goff and the defense, and they’ll have to respond.
The Houston Texans are making more big moves to address Deshaun Watson’s blind side.
The Texans are acquiring offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills from the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a package of draft picks, including a first-round selection.
Full terms of Texans/Dolphins trade, per source …
Dolphins get: 2020 first-round pick, 2021 first-round pick, 2021 second-round pick, CB Johnson Bademosi, OT Julie'n Davenport.
Texans get: OT Laremy Tunsil, WR Kenny Stills, 2020 fourth-round pick, 2021 sixth-round pick.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 31, 2019
The Dolphins are in full tank mode, as they were expected to be. Tunsil is one of the league’s best offensive linemen, but the Dolphins would rather have draft capital going forward. The inclusion of Stills is also interesting, given his criticism of owner Stephen Ross’ political stances and what it may have meant for his roster spot.
For Houston, Tunsil will protect Watson, who has been in dire need of the protection in recent years. That can only help him and the rest of the offense. This is also the second big trade of the day by Houston, who also traded Jadeveon Clowney to Seattle.
The Houston Texans have added badly-needed depth to their backfield.
The Texans acquired running back Carlos Hyde in exchange for offensive lineman Martinas Rankin in a deal involving two players who were likely poised to be cut anyway.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 31, 2019
Hyde isn’t likely to be thrust into a leading role in the Houston backfield, but he’ll likely get his reps. The 28-year-old ran for 571 yards and five touchdowns last season, which he split between the Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars. He spent two years as a regular starter for the San Francisco 49ers before that, where he tallied up 1,926 yards over two seasons. He’s likely to be the backup for ex-teammate Duke Johnson after starter Lamar Miller suffered a season-ending knee injury during preseason.
The Houston Texans had a need for a reserve running back and they’ve moved to fill it with a player who badly wanted a new opportunity.
The team announced Thursday that it had acquired running back Duke Johnson from the Cleveland Browns, with a conditional draft pick headed the other way.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 8, 2019
Johnson immediately enters the picture to back up starter Lamar Miller after Houston surprisingly waived D’Onta Foreman earlier in the week. Their new acquisition had fallen out with teammates following his trade request, so this will come as a relief to him as well.
Johnson has 1,286 rushing yards and five touchdowns over four seasons, primarily as a reserve. He’s a pretty solid backup option who should ensure that the Texans won’t miss a beat if Miller isn’t on the field.
Jadeveon Clowney has a target date to rejoin the Houston Texans.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Clowney, who is currently absent from camp after failing to get a long-term deal, tentatively plans to report to camp after the team’s third preseason game.
“From what I understand, the tentative plan is to show up after the third preseason game — they play the Cowboys in late August,” Rapoport said, via Kevin Patra of NFL.com. “That is my understanding of when Clowney is planning to show up. (He) wouldn’t play in the fourth preseason game. Would get a week to make sure he’s alright. And I am told he’s in great shape. And the Texans don’t have any worries there.”
Things don’t appear to have become seriously acrimonious at any point between Clowney and the Texans, though the team did gauge trade interest in him. He won’t miss any regular season action, and the Texans appear confident that he’s doing the right things despite being away from organized activities.
The Houston Texans were expecting big things from D’Onta Foreman when they drafted him in the second round two years ago, but the running back’s tenure with the team has come to a disappointing end.
As John McClain of the Houston Chronicle first reported, the Texans have waived Foreman. The move came after head coach Bill O’Brien made it clear he was not happy with where Foreman was at this offseason.
The Texans placed RB D’Onta Foreman on waivers. They weren’t happy with his work habits. RBs on the roster are veterans Josh Ferguson, Buddy Howell and Taiwan Jones and undrafted rookies Damarea Crockett and Karan Higdon Jr.
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) August 4, 2019
During camp, it was apparent Bill O’Brien wasn’t happy with Foreman. Asked after a practice about the third RB spot, O’Brien said, “Who’re the first two?” When Lamar Miller and Foreman were mentioned, he said, “Miller,” and went on to explain the backup job was “wide open.”
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) August 4, 2019
Foreman, a former Texas star, is just 23. He should get another shot fairly quickly, though he did suffer a serious injury during his rookie season two years ago. He played in just one game last year and had seven rushing attempts.