The Houston Texans are grappling with a spate of injuries to key players on their roster following a disappointing 30-6 loss to the New York Jets on Sunday. As they gear up for a crucial Week 15 matchup against the Tennessee Titans on December 17, the Texans find themselves without the services of two standout rookies, defensive end Will Anderson Jr. and quarterback CJ Stroud.
Anderson has been absent from consecutive practices due to an ankle injury, raising concerns about his availability for the upcoming game. On the other hand, Stroud, who left during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss, is currently navigating the NFL’s concussion protocol, a process that involves multiple stages. According to Eyewitness News, Stroud’s completion of the protocol before Sunday appears unlikely.
Texans defensive coordinator Matt Burke expressed the team’s commitment to giving Anderson every opportunity to recover, acknowledging the challenge of losing a key player like the promising Alabama star.
In addition to Anderson and Stroud, the Texans’ injury list includes wide receiver Nico Collins (calf), offensive tackle George Fant (hip), linebacker Blake Cashman (hamstring), and cornerback Tavierre Thomas (hamstring). Rookie wide receiver Tank Dell suffered a season-ending left fibula fracture earlier this month.
Despite the setbacks, there is a silver lining for the Texans as kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn is poised to make his return. Fairbairn has been absent since Week 9, with kicker Matt Ammendola filling in. Tight end Dalton Schultz is also set to return from a hamstring injury.
Currently sitting on the brink of the playoffs as the No. 8 seed in a six-way tie at 7-6, the Texans remain optimistic about their postseason aspirations. Notably, the team has made playoff tickets available to season ticket holders, signaling the organization’s confidence in a potential playoff berth as they navigate the challenges posed by injuries to key players.