The Houston Texans waived wide receiver Kenny Stills on Friday one day after he was inactive because of a quad injury for the team’s Thanksgiving road win over the Detroit Lions, according to multiple reports.
In 10 games for Houston this season Stills had just 11 catches for 144 yards and one touchdown. He played in the Texans’ 10-7 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Nov. 15, making just one catch for six yards in the loss. Then he played just four snaps the next week against the New England Patriots.
Stills last season had 40 catches for 461 yards and four touchdowns.
He came to the Texans from the Miami Dolphins in a trade on Sept. 1, 2019 along with a 2020 fourth-round pick and a 2021 sixth-round pick and tackle Laremy Tunsil. In return the Texans sent Miami a 2020 first-round pick, a 2021 first-round pick, a 2021 second-round pick, Johnson Bademosi and Julie’n Davenport.
The 28-year-old was a fifth-round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints in the 2013 NFL Draft. He spent two seasons with the Saints before being traded to the Dolphins in March 2015.
His best season came in 2014 with New Orleans when he had 63 catches for 931 yards and three touchdowns.
Stills is in the last year of his contract and will hit waivers first. If he clears waivers he will become a free agent.
If he is claimed on waivers a team will have to pay a prorated portion of his salary worth $6.975 million.
— Field Level Media
Matt Patricia finds himself on the hot seat. If the Detroit Lions don’t turn things around during their annual Thanksgiving Day game, their coach may see his job security go up in flames.
Fans and the media are roasting Patricia and Lions general manager Bob Quinn after an ugly, 20-0 shutout on Sunday to the mediocre Carolina Panthers. Detroit (4-6) hosts the Houston Texans (3-7) at Ford Field on Thursday.
The Lions have lost three of their last four games and needed a last-second field goal to beat Washington in Week 10. They followed that up with their abominable offensive outing against a Carolina team that surrendered 46 points to Tampa Bay the previous week.
Matthew Stafford, who is dealing with a thumb injury, passed for just 178 yards and was sacked five times. The running game was held to 40 yards on 17 carries.
“For us, it’s trying to get things right in a really short window,” Patricia said. “That’s the biggest focus for us right now.”
Outsiders are focused on whether Patricia will last the season or even another game if his team doesn’t perform well in the national spotlight. Patricia tried to deflect questions about his status.
“Our focus right now is on Houston,” he said. “Any conversations that I’ve had with ownership, I always keep those private, you guys know that. So from that standpoint, we’ve just got a quick turnaround here, trying to get ready for Houston.”
Some of the Lions’ issues on Sunday were injury-related. Their best wide receiver Kenny Golladay (hip) and top running back D’Andre Swift (concussion), were sidelined. Golladay didn’t practice on Tuesday but Swift did on a limited basis, suggesting he’s cleared the league’s protocols.
A victory would put Detroit back in the hunt for a wild card.
The Texans probably need to run the table to make the playoffs. They have played better of late, winning two of their last three games.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson carried them to a 27-20 over New England on Sunday. He threw for 344 yards and two touchdowns. He also scored on a 4-yard run.
“I would say the thing with this guy that’s amazing is how competitive he is throughout the game,” Patricia said. “It doesn’t matter the situation, this guy always has the mentality that he’s going to make a play to win it. And a lot of times, he does.”
Watson has 40 completions of 20 yards or more, tied with Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and just one off the league lead, held by Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Buffalo’s Josh Allen.
“If we give Deshaun time, he can complete them just about anywhere,” interim coach Romeo Crennel said. “He can complete them behind the line, intermediate area and deep. And we have receivers that can go deep and they will go get the ball.”
Unlike the Lions, the Texans aren’t used to playing on Thanksgiving. Their lone appearance came in 2012, a 34-31 overtime victory against Detroit.
“With the way our season has gone, the win (Sunday) gave them confidence, it lifted them up,” Crennel said. “To follow it up with another win would be special, particularly on Thanksgiving Day because everybody remembers or has watched pro football on Thanksgiving.”
Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah (shoulder) and defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand (groin) missed Tuesday’s practice. Houston’s biggest injury concern could be receiver Randall Cobb (toe).
–Field Level Media
Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt combined for 230 yards on the ground and the Cleveland Browns slugged out a 10-7 victory over the visiting Houston Texans on Sunday.
Chubb and Hunt recorded 19 attempts each against the Texans’ 32nd-ranked run defense. After Houston (2-7) closed to within three points on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Deshaun Watson to Pharaoh Brown with 4:59 remaining, Chubb sealed the win with a 59-yard, third-down run to the Houston 1, wisely running out of bounds so that Cleveland could exhaust the game clock.
Chubb rushed for 126 yards in his first action since Week 4 due to a knee injury. Hunt added 104 yards for the Browns (6-3).
Watson finished 20-of-30 for 163 yards and a touchdown. He was sacked twice. The Texans totaled only 243 yards.
Cleveland needed one impressive possession to extend to a 10-0 lead in the fourth quarter, covering 64 yards in nine plays and just over five minutes. Baker Mayfield completed a 21-yard pass to Rashard Higgins that moved the chains on third-and-18 before a pass interference penalty on Texans cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III presented Cleveland another first down.
Chubb took over from there, gaining 35 yards on four carries including a 9-yard touchdown following a nifty cutback that gave the Browns a two-possession lead with 13:32 left to play.
The Browns’ lone touchdown drive followed a curious decision by Texans interim coach Romeo Crennel to attempt a 45-yard field goal in blustery conditions on fourth-and-2. Ka’imi Fairbairn pushed his kick wide left and the Browns immediately extended their tenuous 3-0 cushion.
The Browns’ opening possession, capped by a 41-yard Cody Parkey field goal with 8:31 left in the first quarter, stalled on an intentional grounding penalty against Mayfield on third and short.
Houston seemingly mounted a response with a methodical 14-play march to the Cleveland 2. But on fourth down, Browns defensive end Myles Garrett stuffed Watson on a quarterback draw, resulting in a 2-yard loss and a turnover on downs. The Texans sputtered for the remainder of the first half, amassing 96 yards total with 67 coming on the aforementioned, fruitless drive.
–Field Level Media