Houston Texans: Don’t count out cornerback Jermaine Kelly just yet

Houston Texans cornerback Jermaine Kelly (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Houston Texans cornerback Jermaine Kelly (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Houston Texans cornerback Jermaine Kelly is back in the fray of things after missing his rookie season with an injury. Don’t count him by any means. Why?

Houston Texans fans — it’s just the second week of the preseason and there’s still so much to talk about with just one game that has rolled by.  Although the team wasn’t triumphant against the Green Packers this past Thursday, there were still some bright spots that we noticed while the game was going on.

My observations were that the offensive line still needs some tweaking, watching Joe Webb play made this game fun to watch as well as demonstrates his versatility and that the retooled cornerbacks group is still looking to build rapport with each other.

Kareem Jackson won’t be walking through that door so it will be up to Johnathan Joseph, Aaron Colvin, Bradley Roby, Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Lonnie Johnson Jr. to work together to make that happen.

However, what about Jermaine Kelly, our 7th-rounder out of San Jose State last season?  His season was cut short right out of the gate with the team deciding to put him on injured reserve for all of 2018.

There was a lot of promise for the speedy, 6-foot, 196-pound cover corner that can run the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds.

Pro Football Focus had Kelly with a 93.8 grade in coverage with the Spartans in his senior season and his 11.1 cover snaps per reception definitely put him in the middle of the pack of eligible cornerbacks in his draft class.

Although I knew his likely fate would be the practice squad, I was excited to see how he could help our secondary out.

When I was the co-host of the Locked on Texans podcast on the Locked on Podcast Network with my good friend Robert Land for two seasons, we interviewed Mohammed Bafakih — who wrote for the school newspaper and was covering him at the time — last year about his potential impact.

You can listen to it here.  (Episode 189)

I sincerely loved podcasting but my ability to keep up with the schedule and quench my thirst to write along with a full-time job in the airline industry became just too great of a task to conquer.

But anyway, the tables have turned for Kelly in 2019, especially with the new faces in the

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secondary so Kelly will now be fighting for a roster spot and he certainly has a great shot of getting one.

Although I didn’t see him get any action this past Thursday, his time is coming and I think it will be sooner than later as we go through the nuances of the preseason.

It would behoove me to have someone this talented and he not be a valuable contributor to this team.  With as loaded with veterans as the secondary is, his route to a roster spot will likely have to be on special teams with the opportunity to sub-in at the corner as needed during the season.

His unique skill set can be used in that regard but it’s certainly up to him to ensure that he stands out in front of the rest.

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To put it in perspective, Kelly amassed 67 tackles — 2.0 for loss — 16 passes defended, one defensive touchdown, one pick and two fumble recoveries in two seasons with San Jose State.

Good luck Jermaine — go Houston Texans!