Texans’ Maliek Collins and Nico Collins expected to sit out Thursday against Eagles
HOUSTON – Veteran Texans defensive tackle Maliek Collins and wide receiver Nico Collins remain on the sidelines, and the two key players are not expected to return for a Thursday night game against the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles.
Both players have made steady progress in their recovery from injuries. Maliek Collins has a chest injury and Nico Collins has a groin injury. Both missed the Texans’ 17-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday at NRG Stadium after picking up injuries in a 38-20 road loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
Due to the short delay since Sunday’s game, it would be difficult for them to be back in time for this nationally televised contest.
“It will be more difficult,” Texans coach Lovie Smith said. “If you had a few more days, they might be a little better placed to play. If we look at injuries, we knew when they got injured and we knew this game was coming.
“For some of the guys, we maybe kept them a little longer before. Yes, we would be happy if there was more time, but we won’t put any of the guys there until they’re ready to go. We’ll see how it goes. I know rehab is progressing well.
The absence of both players played a role in the loss to the Titans.
The passing game struggled without Collins’ commanding presence. And the run-stopping woes continued without Collins as they allowed Titans All-Pro running back Derrick Henry to punish them for 219 yards and two touchdowns.
The Texans started rookie defensive tackles Kurt Hinish and Thomas Booker with Collins sidelined. Roy Lopez Jr., still listed as the starter on the latest unofficial depth chart, was fired from Titans rookie quarterback Maliek Willis after he was replaced in the starting lineup against Tennessee by Booker.
“I think we’re still going through that,” Smith said. “We’re going to face the guys that we think give us the best chance. Going back to the original question, if we eliminate someone, we think we have to watch someone else. Rookies, that’s what we have right now. These guys had their moments too.
“When the Maliek Collins, the Mike Dwumfour, some of the guys who play normally, Jonathan Greenard, aren’t there, it’s the next guy’s turn. Sometimes the game isn’t exactly what we want it to be. it is, but they will improve as they continue to play.
Texans nickel back Tavierre Thomas is expected to return as soon as this week from a quadriceps injury, according to a league source, after being slated to return from injured reserve and return to practice last week. Tight end Teagan Quitoriano, also slated for the return after being sidelined with a knee injury, and Thomas are both likely to be back, according to Smith.
Offensive guard Justin McCray, who suffered a concussion on Sunday, did not practice on an estimated attendance ratio with Collins and Collins, safety Grayland Arnold, who injured his quadriceps on Sunday, and linebacker Neville Hewitt , who has a hamstring injury.
Offensive guard AJ Cann, who missed the game with illness and was replaced by McCray, is feeling better and has been listed as limited involvement with rookie linebacker Christian Harris, who suffered a hamstring injury. limps in the preseason, and cornerback Desmond King, who has a knee injury.
Texans safety Jonathan Owens, benched in the second half and replaced by Eric Murray, will retain his starting position.
Owens was repeatedly cocked by Henry, missing a series of open field tackles.
“If we take a player out, we feel like maybe he’s not doing something we’d like him to do, and we think we should consider a different option at that time,” said Smith. “Eric Murray played an exceptional match. Some days we have a baseball team playing, you have to bring in a relief hitter. I think you have to do that sometimes in football too, and that’s what we did with Jonathan. He’s still our starter and all that, but the move we made, Eric came in and tackled well.
The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday afternoon. The main trade product on the Texans roster is veteran wide receiver Brandin Cooks.
As the NFL’s trade deadline nears Tuesday afternoon, Cooks is at the center of trade investigations as teams have explored trade scenarios involving the Texans’ team captain and leading receiver.
Although the Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants, Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs have expressed interest in Cooks with the Rams exploring trade scenarios, no deal is imminent. or in development at the moment, according to league sources. A trade hasn’t been ruled out, but it’s not moving forward at this time as the Texans want significant draft capital in exchange for Cooks and NFL teams are hesitant due to his $18 million guaranteed base salary. dollars in 2023 under the terms of a two-year, $39.6 million contract extension signed this spring.
Texans are open to exchanging cooks, provided they get the compensation they demand. Smith and general manager Nick Caserio are in constant communication about the roster.
“Nick and I are still talking about it,” Smith said. “We’re always talking about improving the ball club, but I will say there’s a lot going on. It’s no different. I know the trade deadline is coming up, but we’re always talking about improving our club. ball. We have guys who practice every week. You’re always looking for ways to do that.
Aaron Wilson is a contributor to KPRC 2 and click2houston.com
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