How mounting injuries could influence major shift for CJ Stroud, Texans

TIME TO PIVOT

The Houston Texans have a huge game this Sunday against the Tennessee Titans, and the outcome of this game could greatly impact the team's playoff chances.

But as of Thursday, CJ Stroud is still in the concussion protocol, Nico Collins hasn't practiced (calf), and Will Anderson Jr. is reportedly dealing with a high ankle sprain that has kept him sidelined.

And as much as we would love to see the Texans get into the playoffs, have we reached a point where looking ahead to next season should be the priority?

The Chargers placed QB Justin Herbert on IR this week, and shut down Pro Bowl receiver Keenan Allen. Why risk further injury to their top players when they no longer have a chance at making the playoffs?

For the Texans, though, they're still in this thing. And let's face it, CJ Stroud is going to want to play. He has a legit chance to lead the league in passing yards.

DeMeco Ryans is going to have some tough decisions to make over the next week or two.

Looking ahead

A lot can happen in just a few weeks. Tank Dell suffered a season-ending injury against the Broncos, and now Nico Collins is out with a calf injury, which caused CJ Stroud to have his worse performance of the year against the Jets.

The offensive line is banged up, and it's led to Stroud taking more hits. We're also realizing that receivers Noah Brown, Robert Woods, and John Metchie have become completely ineffective without Dell and Collins on the field.

It also looks like the Texans haven't learned their lesson from using Tank Dell in goal line situations to block between the tackles. Plus, Nico Collins has yet to play a full season. As good as they are, they appear to be injury prone.

So as we look to next season, there's no reason to bring back Brown and Woods. Brown has ZERO catches in the last two games and Woods has only reached 50 yards receiving twice this year and has -2 yards receiving in his last two games. Yes, you read that correctly.

The salary cap is going up, so why not look to sign Tee Higgins, Michael Pittman, or Mike Evans?

And don't stop there, add another receiver at the top of the draft and give Stroud as many weapons as possible.

There's so much more to talk about. Be sure to watch the video above as we discuss how the Texans should navigate the remainder of the season and beyond.

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What could hold the Texans back this season? Composite Getty Image.

We made it! Training camp is officially here, with all the Texans players having reported to the team and set to take the field this Thursday.

And while the Texans are the favorites to win the division, there are some areas of concern heading into the season.

ESPN Texans reporter DJ Bien-Aime joined The Mina Kimes Show and shared his thoughts on the Texans outlook this season.

When looking at the Texans offense, Bien-Aime pointed to Houston's play calling as being a possible issue in 2024. Bobby Slowik did a terrific job in his first season as an offensive coordinator. But he will have his hands full keeping all his playmakers happy with Stefon Diggs joining the team, and Nico Collins expecting a lot of looks after signing a massive contract extension.

Kimes also pointed to Slowik's insistence on staying committed to the running game even when the team was having zero success on the ground. Hopefully that issue will get corrected either through better results in the run game, or putting the ball in CJ Stroud's hands when the ground game is repeatedly getting stuffed.

On defense, both Kimes and Bien-Aime named Houston's secondary as the big x-factor this year. Bien-Aime named cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. as the only player in the secondary that he truly trusts. He also strongly believes that rookie cornerback Kamari Lassiter will start opposite Stingley as the team's No. 2 corner.

The Texans certainly have concerns at defensive tackle with Sheldon Rankins and Malik Collins gone, but the secondary has to be the biggest worry in a pass-heavy NFL. Not to mention the level of quarterback play the Texans will face while dealing with a first-place schedule this year.

If you love hearing informed football analysts talking ball, this is the video for you. They cover all things Texans and give a full preview of the AFC South, plus predictions!

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