HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans roster heading into the 2018 season (starters in bold):
Houston hopes Watson can pick off where he left off last season before he tore his ACL -- he threw for 1,699 yards with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions in seven games -- and of course, stay healthy behind an improved offensive line.
Miller reported to camp leaner and quicker and hoping to rebound from his career-worst performance in 2017. Foreman, a third round pick in 2017, will start the season on the PUP list, as he is still recovering from a torn Achilles. The Texans also cut fullback Jay Prosch, who had signed a three-year contract extension a year ago.
The Texans' receiving corps is stronger than the group was a year ago at this point, especially with a healthy Fuller. Coutee missed most of training camp with a hamstring injury, but now that he is back, he should get opportunities in the slot.
With the retirement of C.J. Fiedorowicz, Griffin will be the starting tight end and will be even more involved in the passing game. Houston drafted two tight ends -- Akins (third round), who is expected to be more of a receiving threat, and Thomas (sixth round), whom the Texans want to develop into a blocking tight end.
The Texans are hoping that the revamped offensive line can be a lot better than the group that allowed 54 sacks (the second-most in the NFL) last season. Houston has four new starters: Davenport (LT), Kelemete (LG), Fulton (RG) and Henderson (RT). Rankin, a third-round pick, missed most of training camp on the PUP list, but will likely back up both tackle positions.
Watt (if he can stay healthy) and Reader are two strong players up front. The Texans clearly feel strongly about this group, opting to keep Heath and Blackson.
If players on this unit can stay healthy, the Texans have an especially talented group headlined by Clowney, Mercilus, McKinney and Cunningham, who had an impressive rookie season. The position group was thin at the end of last season because of injuries, but drafting Ejiofor and Kalambayi improved the depth.
By moving Jackson to safety, the Texans are hoping that Johnson, their 2015 first-round pick who has struggled since he was drafted, can stay healthy and have a productive season. The Texans don't have a ton of depth in the secondary, but they did improve the unit by signing Mathieu and drafting Reid this offseason.
The Texans went with Daniel, an undrafted rookie, over the veteran Shane Lechler. Fairbairn has missed time because of injury, but will be back for the start of the season in New England.