The Houston Texans’ defense could receive a significant boost on Sunday with the return of a starter in the secondary. Per NFL insider Adam Schefter, Houston cornerback Derek Stingley Jr has returned to practice well before Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Help on the way in Houston: Texans’ CB Derek Stingley Jr. and T Charlie Heck have been Designated for Return and were back at practice today.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 8, 2023
Stingley suffered a hamstring injury in preparation for his team’s tilt against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3. He went to the IR expecting to miss upward of eight weeks.
Derek Stingley Jr.: NFL Career
Derek Stingley Jr. joined the Texans as the third overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft. He starred for three years with the LSU Tigers, being named an All-American and helping lead the team to an undefeated season in 2019. Stingley Jr. started eight games as a rookie last year, totaling 43 tackles, five passes defended, one interception, and a sack. However, he missed over half of the season with a hamstring injury.
Stingley Jr. has nine tackles and no interceptions in two games this season. His health going forward is worth monitoring, with the star corner missing time with injuries in his first two seasons. The 22-year-old also dealt with injuries in college, playing just three games during his final year at LSU.
Houston Texans: Defense Under First-Year HC DeMeco Ryans
The Texans allow 20.6 points per game, the 14th-best mark in the NFL. The Texans were in the bottom five points allowed per game over the previous three seasons. However, head coach DeMeco Ryans has immediately improved the defense. They possess one of the best front sevens in the league, allowing just 3.5 rushing yards per attempt. However, opposing passers have thrown for 1,904 yards while throwing just four interceptions. The return of Derek Stingley Jr. could help shore up some of their defensive shortcomings, especially in the secondary.
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