Many are curious about how Houston Texans cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. is doing in the NFL. He was the first corner drafted ahead of Sauce Gardner, Trent McDuffie, and Tariq Woolen in the 2022 NFL Draft. Why haven’t we heard from him? Is he not playing well, or is he injured?
The answer is that Stingley has been battling a hamstring injury and hasn’t played since Week 2. He is a player who has immense potential but has battled injuries in college and the NFL.
The Houston Texans’ second-year corner had a great freshman season.
Stingley Jr. committed to play college football at LSU as a five-star recruit for the 2019 season. He was the star corner in the LSU National Championship game and finished the season with 38 tackles, six interceptions, and 15 pass deflections. He was named to the AP first-team ALL-SEC and a 2019 first-team All-American.
Stingley Jr. battled an illness and an injury in his second season.
Stingley missed the season opener because he was dehydrated. He played in seven games, recording 27 tackles, five pass deflections, and one forced fumble. He suffered a sprained ankle in Week 3. He played through the injury but re-injured it in Week 8 and missed the last two games. Stingley was named to the 2020 All-SEC First Team.
Stingley was limited to three games in his junior season.
Stingley suffered a Lisfranc tear during training camp. He managed to play the first three games of the season. LSU shut him down for the rest of the season. He underwent surgery on September 26, 2021. He recorded eight tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and one forced fumble.
Stingley declared for the 2022 draft.
Stingley was drafted in the 1st round.
The Houston Texans drafted Derek Stingley Jr. in the 1st round, 3rd overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. Stingley started the first nine games of the season, recording 43 tackles, one interception, five pass deflections, and one sack. He was 34/54 for 409 yards and zero touchdowns in pass coverage. He missed the rest of the season with a hamstring injury.
Stingley started the first two games of his second season, recording nine tackles. He was 4/6 for 37 yards in pass coverage. He suffered another hamstring injury during practice and Houston placed him on injured reserve.
Give Stingley time.
A message to Houston Texans fans is to be patient with Derek Stingley Jr. Don’t write him off as a bust because he’s dealt with injuries in his first two seasons. Yes, Sauce Gardner and Tariq Woolen are having a great start to their career. But you have to give him time.
Stingley has talent and has a lot of potential in the future. Once he gets healthy, he could become an elite cornerback.
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