Texans rookie Derek Stingley Jr., sidelined with left arm injury, ‘should be good to go’

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 02: Derek Stingley Jr. #24 of the Houston Texans walks off the field after being shaken up on the play against the Los Angeles Chargers at NRG Stadium on October 02, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) (Bob Levey, Getty Images 2022)

HOUSTON – Texans rookie cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., the third overall pick of the draft, isn’t practicing Wednesday and has a brace on his left arm.

Texans coach Lovie Smith expressed confidence after practice that Stingley will be able to play Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars despite an injury he characterized again as a bruise.

“Yeah, we said it’s a bruise and he’s in a brace,” Smith said. “We hope he can (play). Seeing him in a brace, it’s like we said before, it’s a bruise, it was a bruise. He was in a brace today to protect it a little bit. He should be good to go.”

If Stingley is out, the Texans can plug in nickel back Desmond King and shift him to outside corner, as they did last season, and have him start opposite veteran corner Steven Nelson.

Stingley, a first-round draft pick and former LSU consensus All-American, injured his arm Sunday in a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. He went back in the game and appeared to aggravate it again before leaving. His left arm was examined by the Texans’ medical staff.

Pulling on a sweatshirt after the game, Stingley emphasized that it wasn’t a big deal.

“Oh no, I feel fine,” Stingley said.

Stingley got checked out by Dr. Walter Lowe and head athletic trainer Roland Ramirez on the sideline inside the blue medical tent before going back into the game.

“He was down for a while, bruise on his arm,” Texans coach Lovie Smith said Sunday. “He was able to finish, so he should be okay.”

Smith is scheduled to hold a press conference Wednesday morning.

Texans tight end Brevin Jordan, out the past two games with an ankle injury, didn’t practice along with defensive tackle Maliek Collins (knee) didn’t practice along with defensive end Jerry Hughes (designated rest day).

Meanwhile, the Texans designated rookie linebacker Christian Harris (hamstring) for return from injured reserve along with veteran defensive end Mario Addison (groin) as they officially launched their 21-day practice window to be placed on the active roster. Both practiced Wednesday after missing the first four games of the season for the 0-3-1 Texans. Both appeared to be moving well.

“It’s hard to say that right now,” Smith said when asked if Harris will be activated to play Sunday. “Keep in mind he’s a rookie who’s never played a game before. That process is starting. As far as this week, it’s pretty hard to say other than he’s back out on the practice field. That’s the first step.

“It’s pretty hard to say. All those training camp practices, four weeks of practice, they matter. Is he behind? Absolutely. Right now he came off the injury list and we’ve had one practice. I haven’t had a chance to evaluate the video. As soon as he’s ready to go and we feel like he’s ready to function and ready to go, he’ll be out there.”

Signed to a four-year, $5.34 million contract that includes a $1.069 million contract, the third-round draft pick from Alabama turned heads at training camp with his ability to run and diagnose plays. The former blue-chip recruit from Baton Rouge, La. concluded his college career with three sacks, four tackles for losses and a forced fumble in a loss to Georgia in the national championship game. Harris has speed to burn (4.44 in the 40-yard dash) as a versatile sideline-to-sideline defender.

“I think he probably is the fastest linebacker in the room,” Texans veteran linebacker Christian Kirksey said during training camp. “This kid can fly. He’s smart. He’s bright. He’s super athletic. When we’re in the weight room, I think that he’s like in every competition, whether it’s the vertical, speed, he’s at least top-5. This kid is super talented, young, fresh and he’s ready to learn. When you have a guy of that caliber, he’s going to go a long way. He’s going to have a great career in the league.” Harris, who aced the NFL scouting combine with a 9.05 Relative Athletic score, had 80 tackles last season, 12 1/2 for losses and 5 1/2 sacks. The former freshman All-American and freshman All-Southeastern Conference selection had two forced fumbles and was a semifinalist for the Butkus and Lombardi awards.

“I would say first and foremost he is an elite athlete,” Texans linebackers coach Miles Smith said during the preseason. “Obviously, we all know that. We saw the combine. We saw what he’s able to do. I’ve been most impressed with his ability to grasp the defense and learn the mental aspects of the game. He’s attacked it every day with good work ethic and couldn’t be more impressed. We always say the best attribute for a player in our defense is speed. So, just bringing that element, 4.4 speed every down I think is going to show dividends when we get to the season. He’s able to make some plays that others aren’t just because of his raw athletic ability. Now, it’s our job just to teach him the defense and allow him to play fast.”

Texans tight end Brevin Jordan, out the past two games with an ankle injury, didn’t practice along with defensive tackle Maliek Collins (knee) didn’t practice along with defensive end Jerry Hughes (designated rest day).

Addison, 35, was signed to a two-year, $7.7 million contract this offseason that included a $2 million signing bonus.

The former Buffalo Bills starter is an accomplished pass rusher who has been sidelined with a groin injury.

He missed the first four games of the season and is now eligible to return.

He had seven sacks last season for the Bills.

Addison played for Texans defensive line coach Jacques Cesaire with the Buffalo Bills.

He has also played for the Chicago Bears, briefly, when Texans coach Lovie Smith was the coach after going undrafted in 2011 out of Troy State. He was claimed off waivers by the Colts and then played for Washington and the Carolina Panthers.

He signed a three-year, $30.45 million deal with the Bills and was due base salaries of $6.625 million over the final two years of the deal before agreeing to a pay cut.

He played in 15 games last season for the AFC East champion Bills and had 29 tackles and two forced fumbles.

Addison (6-foot-3, 260 pounds) has 67 career sacks and 281 tackles with 112 quarterback hits, 13 forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

“Mario has played in the league for a long time,” Smith said. “Of course, he’s more advanced with being able to play quicker. We can always use him, a good pass rusher, a good defensive end, to play. He’s healthy now. The process has started. Hopefully sooner than later, he’ll be out there.”

Aaron Wilson is a Pro Football Network reporter and a contributor to KPRC 2 and click2houston.com


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