The season-ending ACL injury suffered by ILB Brian Cushing has put the Houston Texans in a position where a shake up of their roster has become a necessity. The most important move made in the aftermath of Cushing’s injury was to sign another inside linebacker to add depth and potentially productivity. Tuesday, the Texans officially brought in veteran LB Barrett Ruud, formerly of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, and New Orleans Saints.
Ruud, in his eighth season, had several solid seasons with the Bucs, including four straight 100-tackle seasons. He should get the opportunity for some playing time at ILB early on, rotating with Tim Dobbins and Bradie James, and could also be a special teams contributor.
The second move made by the Texans Tuesday was signing offensive guard Cody White off the team’s practice squad. The undrafted rookie’s signing, however, appears to be more about another team showing interest in him rather than the Texans needing him on their roster. Earlier this season, the Texans lost RB Jonathan Grimes to the New York Jets when he was signed off the practice squad. Signing White simply protects him from leaving the Texans’ organization, probably because the coaching staff sees potential they’d like to further develop.
Lastly, if a team is going to sign a player, they must cut one to compensate. KR/PR Trindon Holliday was released to make room for White on the roster. Holliday made a name for himself during the preseason when he returned three kicks for touchdowns, but has failed to live up to the expectations in the regular season. The Texans’ kickoff return yardage currently ranks dead last in the NFL and could certainly use a shake up. Rookie WR Keshawn Martin will take over the return duties for now.
All of these moves are of course set in motion by Cushing’s imminent placement on the injured reserved list. By comparison, all the moves and players involved pale in comparison to losing Cushing for the season, but hopefully help the Texans improve in the absence of Cush, even if only slightly.
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