HOUSTON – The Texans are officially activating rookie tight end Teagan Quitoriano from injured reserve-designated for return, per a league source, and he is slated to play in his first NFL regular-season game Thursday night against the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles.
The Texans previously launched Quitoriano’s 21-day practice window to activate him to the 53-man roster on Oct. 17.
Texans nickel back and special teams ace Tavierre Thomas has also been activated from injured reserve-designated for return, according to a league source.
Thomas was placed on short-term injured reserve with a pulled quadriceps suffered during training camp.
Safety Grayland Arnold was placed on injured reserve with a quadriceps injury.
The Texans also elevated wide receiver Jalen Camp and offensive guard KC McDermott from the practice squad for the second consecutive game.
Thomas has made a sound recovery and has been running for weeks.
The injury represented a setback to the Texans’ defense and special-teams units. Thomas is also a sound tackler. Tackling has been a recurring issue for the Texans’ defense.
Thomas had a career-high 86 tackles and two interceptions last season in 16 games with one forced fumble. He played 56 percent of the defensive snaps and 67 percent of the special team’s snaps.
Signed to a two-year, $4 million contract last year that includes $2 million guaranteed with a $1 million signing bonus, Thomas started a career-high three games last season.
The former undrafted free agent from Ferris State had a breakthrough season last year for the Texans and consistently drew praise from Texans coach Lovie Smith.
A fifth-round draft pick from Oregon State, Quitoriano has made a full recovery from a knee injury that sidelined him.
Quitoriano scored his first NFL touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams in a preseason game.
Quitoriano caught a six-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Kyle Allen as Allen executed a play-action fake to running back Royce Freeman and rolled to his right to connect with Quitoriano.
Quitoriano, 22, did the rest, escaping a tackle attempt to get into the end zone during a 24-20 preseason win against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium.
An honorable-mention All-Pac-12 selection in 2020 when he caught 14 passes for 185 yards and one touchdown, Quitoriano caught 19 passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns last season.
He missed some time at training camp and during the offseason with the knee injury.
At 6-foot-6, 258 pounds, Quitoriano has outstanding size. He started as a true freshman for the Beavers. He was an all-state football and basketball selection in Salem, Oregon. He originally committed to Oregon before accepting a scholarship to Oregon State.
Aaron Wilson is a contributor to KPRC 2 and click2houston.com