Cody Stoots: Latest Texans 53-man roster projection

Lamar Miller heads up the running back group. Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Texans have one preseason game to play but if they had to make the cuts today and get to 53 players this is how I see it shaking out. 

Quarterbacks - 3

Deshaun Watson

Brandon Weeden

Joe Webb

Analysis: Joe Webb is making it as a quarterback but he is here because he can do a lot of different things. He can help on special teams whereas a typical third quarterback would be inactive or useless when the other two quarterbacks are healthy. Webb really earned this because of his versatility and showcasing it during the preseason. One of the fun stories in camp. 

Running Backs - 3

Lamar Miller

Alfred Blue

Troymaine Pope

Analysis: D'Onta Foreman will start the season on the physically unable to perform list unless he miraculously gets healthy. Alfred Blue doesn't do anything spectacular but the current staff seems to like him for special teams and trust him to do the basics of being a running back. Troymaine Pope is a pass-catcher and has seen some return action. Tyler Ervin has gotten a ton of reps as a returner despite showcasing little as a ball carrier but with the abilities of the pass catchers someone else can do what he has done. 

Fullback - 1

Jay Prosch

Analysis: For a little time I thought the Texans would finally go without the archaic position of fullback. I can't see Bill O'Brien really pulling the trigger this year. He played 13.2 percent of snaps last year. So, he's here, well, to do whatever fullbacks do in 2018. 

Wide Receiver - 6

DeAndre Hopkins

Will Fuller

Bruce Ellington  

Keke Coutee

Sammie Coates

Braxton Miller

Analysis: Keke Coutee's injury opened the door for the Texans to need to keep six wideouts. Sammie Coates is on this team. He played his way onto the team and is the lone true backup at outside wide receiver. Braxton Miller has been up and down throughout the preseason but his versatility to help outside and inside and potentially on returns earns him the spot until Coutee is fully ready to play. Bruce Ellington is on the team without a doubt and it would be a shock and mistake to let him go. 

Tight Ends - 3

Ryan Griffin

Jordan Thomas  

Jordan Akins

Analysis: One of the easiest calls on the team. These three have separated themselves from all the other tight ends. Jordan Thomas seems to be slightly ahead of Jordan Akins. 

Tackles - 4

Julie'n Davenport

Seantrell Henderson

Martinas Rankin

Kendall Lamm

Analysis: Kendell Lamm is making this team because Martinas Rankin missed a few weeks with this injury and the team can't afford that much inexperience as the swing tackle. Seantrell Henderson's irregular health makes this tackle situation one that requires bodies with experience. 

Guards - 4

Zach Fulton

Senio Kelemete

David Quessenberry

Chad Slade

Analysis: Chad Slade can help at tackle and David Quessenberry has played his way onto the roster. Kyle Fuller didn't do enough to make the roster considering both of the team's centers can help at guard in a pinch. The team held Fuller over from last year but he didn't outplay those in front of him. 

Center - 2

Nick Martin

Greg Mancz

Analysis: Easy decisions here. There wasn't much competition. 

Offense (26)

Defensive Line - 6

J.J. Watt

Christian Covington

D.J. Reader  

Angelo Blackson  

Carlos Watkins  

Brandon Dunn

Analysis: Joel Heath and Brandon Dunn are really fighting each other for this spot and this likely is a tough cut as both can help out a team and deserve a spot on a roster. Dunn has been more consistent but Heath has more upside. This will be a tough decision and don't be surprised to see both of them end up making the team at the expensive of another position. 

Outside Linebacker - 4

Jadaveon Clowney

Whitney Mercilus

Duke Ejiofor

Brennan Scarlett

Analysis:  Jadeveon Clowney gets counted as an outside linebacker despite his versatility and ability to help the defensive line. Whitney Mercilus has been out with an injury but should be ready to go soon. Duke Ejiofor flashed early but consistency is going to be key with him. Brennan Scarlett has improved over last year. 

Inside Linebacker - 4

Benardrick McKinney

Zach Cunningham

Dylan Cole

Brian Peters

Analysis: Josh Keyes flashed early and likely stayed on the radar but I can't see him making it when there is pressing needs on offense he literally becomes player 54. Brian Peters is back because of experience with the team and his help on special teams. Peters also showed a little when pressed into playing inside linebacker. The other three have been beasts this preseason. 

Cornerbacks - 5

Johnathan Joseph

Aaron Colvin

Kevin Johnson

Johnson Bademosi

Kayvon Webster

Analysis: Dee Virgin couldn't get it done in camp with his opportunities and no other players flashed enough to make the roster over the practice squad. Kevin Johnson should be back soon. Johnson Bademosi has gotten some solid work in the preseason with Johnson's injury but he is here for special teams. The third side of the ball gets better if Kayvon Webster can contribute. He was a special teams player for the Broncos championship team. 

Safeties - 5

Tyrann Mathieu

Kareem Jackson

Justin Reid

Corey Moore

Kurtis Drummond

Analysis: Treston Decoud has a lot of tools but a lack of results that can't justify him being on the roster over Corey Moore and Kurtis Drummond. Moore has plenty of experience, despite getting benched and falling out of favor last year.  Drummond has played well and his experience at safety helps him make the team over Decoud. 

Defense (24)

Specialists - 3

Shane Lechler

Ka'imi Fairbairn

Jon Weeks

Analysis: Almost had an upset here but I just can't see this team going with a young kicker and a young punter. If there was some way to guarantee Trevor Daniel would be on this roster and ready for next year after Lechler likely hangs it up. I'm not wishing he would stub his toe really hard and end up on injured reserve but it wouldn't be the worst result ever. 

Hopeful Practice Squad Signees

WR Vyncint Smith

WR Jester Weah

CB Andre Chachere

CB Jermaine Kelly Jr.

OLB Peter Kalambayi

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The Texans didn't have an answer for Derrick Henry. Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Romeo Crennel made a valorous call that might have costed the Houston Texans from winning their second consecutive game on Sunday. Up by seven with 1:50 left in the fourth quarter, Crennel decided to call a two-point conversion following Deshaun Watson's one-yard touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks.

During the two-point conversion, Watson had a look at an open Randall Cobb, but Titans' defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons got a hand on the ball to deflect the pass. The failed conversion allowed the Titans to take a 42-36 victory over the Texans inside Nissan Stadium. Tennessee scored 13 unanswered points, which included a seven-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to A.J. Brown to send the game into overtime.

"I think I would do it again," Crennel said during his media availability on Monday. "You are on the road against a divisional opponent who is undefeated, and if you could get that two-point conversion — you shut the door on them. We had a guy open, but unfortunately, the ball got tipped and we did not make it. I would do it again because it was a good choice."

The decision to not kick the field goal caused somewhat of an uproar, but it is understandable why Crennel made the call. Crennel had faith in Watson to put the Texans in a position to close the game, similar to his 4th-and-4 call during last week's victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In the end, Crennel's risky decisions could stem from the lack of faith he has in the Texans' depleted defense.

Houston's defense hit an all-time low against the Titans. They gave up a franchise-worst 601 total yards — with Derrick Henry accounting for 212 yards on 22 carries. But despite their struggles against the run, the Texans' secondary were just as faulty. They gave up a total of 338 yards through the air and allowed Tannehill to go 8-for-9 down the field during the Titans' final drive of regulation.

Had Houston's defense made a stop during the closing seconds of the fourth quarter, the Texans could have ended the game 2-0 under their interim head coach.

"I wanted to go ahead and get the two points — I felt like that would have put the game out of reach for them," Crennel said. "If we had gotten it, we would have been in much better shape. But we did not get it. We did not perform well in overtime, and they [Titans] won the game."

Following Sunday's heartbreaking loss, Texans safety Justin Reid said it best, "Had we converted on the two-point conversion, this would be a totally different conversation. So it is what it is."

Up next, the 1-5 Texans will look to bounce back from defeat against the 4-1 Green Bay Packers, inside NRG Stadium on Sunday. Kick-off is at 12:00 PM CT.

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