The Houston Texans’ kick returners are at the center of a number of camp contests. Special teams coach Frank Ross stated on Wednesday that he is satisfied with the variety of choices he has in camp thus far.
“Yeah, that’s an open competition,” Ross intimated, per the team’s official website. “Excited to see who grabs that by the time we get towards Week 1. Ball security is the name of the game, impact afterward. Let’s see who can do it.”
The special teams’ drills have rotated through a number of players fielding kicks in the first five days of training camp. Derek Stingley Jr., who was drafted third overall, has been the most noticeable addition to the group of players fielding punts. Ross said Stingley, who returned punts for LSU in both the 2019 and 2020 seasons, has made good progress thus far in camp.
“Great, so obviously phenomenal athlete his whole life,” he added. “Refined, yeah, we’ve got to get it to that point, where efficiency, catching it right, getting vertical, those types of things that you see the great ones have done, start to train those mechanics, those habits for a young man. We’ll see how high his ceiling can go.”
Tremon Smith and Desmond King II took over kickoff return duties toward the end of the last term, as well as other newcomers such as WR Conner Wedington.
“It’s going real good,” Smith said. “And me coming out early and staying after the catch and just keep on stacking the days just so when the game days come, it’s just second nature to me for my team.”
AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors was awarded to Smith after he returned two kickoffs for 121 and 98 yards, respectively, against Jacksonville in Week 15. The defensive back, who started 12 games, also returned punts and kickoffs for a combined 154 yards and a combined 27 yards. The Texans re-signed King in March after extending Smith’s contract in December.
Practice for the Texans’ Texans Camp will be held this Friday at the Houston Methodist Training Center. The Houston Texans will open the 2022 preseason on August 13 at home against the New Orleans Saints.
They will kick off the regular season with a match against the Indianapolis Colts on September 11, with what should be a massive clash against the Kansas City Chiefs on December 18. Kansas sports betting is likely to go live by the beginning of the season, which should make this game a lot more interesting.
Meanwhile, the Texans have completed the formal signing procedure for wide receiver Chester Rogers. The former Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans wide receiver is now part of the team’s 90-man roster.
Davion Davis, the Texans’ injured receiver, has been released due to this decision. Originally drafted out of Hutto High School and Sam Houston State University, he was signed by the Cleveland Browns in October and lasted until December before being put on the injured reserve. In his two games with Houston, Davis caught a ball for 17 yards, one of which he started.
Additionally, the Texans have reactivated Tristin McCollum as a defensive back following him clearing his physical exam.
Houston also signed long snapper Harrison Elliott, who will provide some assistance for Pro Bowl long snapper Jon Weeks.
In other news, the NFL has disclosed that it will appeal the six-game suspension issued to Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Despite the NFLPA’s request that the league not appeal the decision, the NFL has concluded that it is not satisfied with retired federal judge Sue L. Robinson’s six-game suspension for Watson.
One of the reasons the NFL is pressing for a longer punishment is because of the Cleveland Browns’ schedule, according to multiple sources.
According to reports, the NFL is pushing for Watson to be suspended for at least 12 games because the league doesn’t want him to play in the Browns’ Week 13 game against the Texans. Week 9 will be the Browns’ bye.
Goodell also can appoint a non-league employee to handle the appeal, which he will apparently do in this case.
The NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy states: “Such appeals will be: (i) processed on an expedited basis; (ii) limited to consideration of the terms of discipline imposed; and (iii) based upon a review of the existing record without reference to evidence or testimony not previously considered.
“No additional evidence or testimony shall be presented to or accepted by the Commissioner or his designee. Any factual findings and evidentiary determinations of the Disciplinary Officer will be binding to the parties on appeal, and the decision of the Commissioner or his designee, which may overturn, reduce, modify or increase the discipline previously issued, will be final and binding on all parties.”
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