It has been a crazy first month of the season for safety Troy Nolan. A former seventh-round draft pick by the Houston Texans in 2009, Nolan was cut by the team at the end of training camp and was promptly picked up by the Miami Dolphins. Nolan actually played against the Texans in week one, but was cut by the Dolphins following their third regular season game against the New York Jets. Wednesday, Nolan was re-signed by the Texans.
During Sunday’s victory over the Tennessee Titans, SS Quintin Demps suffered a broken forearm while FS Shiloh Keo went down with a shoulder injury, creating an apparent need for a safety. Thankfully, Nolan was available and gives the Texans a player who is familiar with the system in place and can step right in and contribute from the onset, both on defense and special teams.
Unfortunately, Nolan’s re-signing meant the Texans were forced to cut somebody from their current 53-man roster, and QB John Beck was the odd man out. This leaves the Texans with only two quarterbacks on the active roster, Matt Schaub and T.J. Yates, with undrafted rookie Case Keenum on the team’s practice squad. Releasing Beck is probably no great loss for the Texans, especially if Keenum has shown improvement during practices. The team does, however, now run the risk of being short handed should the injury but rear its ugly head as it did a year ago. Last season, both Schaub and then second-string QB Matt Leinart both went down with injury, forcing third-stringer Yates to start the team’s final five games of the regular season and playoffs.
Clearly, the plan if that situation ever presented itself again would be to sign Keenum off the practice squad. Still, it’s a bit curious the Texans would go with only two active QBs given the team’s and the position’s recent injury history. Nevertheless, the Texans absolutely needed to pick up a safety and right now there was no better choice than bringing Nolan back.
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