The Texans placed veteran offensive tackle Marcus Cannon on Saturday due to a back injury on injured reserve day, and Charlie Heck is due to replace him on Sunday against the New England Patriots on the right tackle.
Cannon, 33, who was acquired by the Patriots this off-season, has a painful disc problem that has caused sciatica, according to league sources banned from public speaking.
With Cannon injured after playing every snap in a 40-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills, Heck acted as the Texans’ first team in practice this week.
Heck, a formidable former North Carolina fourth round draft of 6 feet 8, 308 pounds and the son of Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive line coach Andy Heck, was named the most improved player on the roster by Texas trainer David Culley during training camp designated .
“We have the next man mentality,” said Texan’s Pro Bowl left tackle Laremy Tunsil. “We just have to keep working and just get the next man. Marcus is injured but Charlie Heck is up this week so we have to worry about Charlie Heck and the rest of the line will make it.”
Heck started one game and played as a rookie in three last season. This year, after a complete break in training, Heck looks like a completely different player in the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, unlike last year.
Heck tested positive for COVID-19 in September and opened the door to Cannon to become the real starter in the first four games.
“You saw what Charlie did last season, it’s nothing new,” said Tunsil. “He just got COVID and you couldn’t see him. It is, but Charlie will do the job too. “
Meanwhile, the Texans have put backup quarterback Jeff Driskel on the reserve COVID-19 list as a COVID-19 replacement with defensive tackle Ross Blacklock. Driskel will support rookie starter Davis Mills with Tyrod Taylor in the injured reserve with a strained Achilles tendon.
The Texans raised wide receiver Chris Moore as the standard raise.
The Texans cut off wide receiver Anthony Miller this week, and wide receiver Danny Amendola was restricted in training all week and was considered questionable due to a tense Achilles tendon that incapacitated him in the last two games.
Amendola, 35, has had six receptions on six targets with one touchdown since signing a $ 2.5 million one-year contract.
Aaron Wilson has covered the NFL for 20 seasons including the Texans, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars. He has previously written for The Houston Chronicle and The Baltimore Sun. He’s on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL and Instagram: @ aaronwilson7128.