Houston Texans: Vyncint Smith’s role will elevate with Keke Coutee out

Houston Texans wide receiver Vyncint Smith (Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Houston Texans wide receiver Vyncint Smith (Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Houston Texans wide receiver Keke Coutee won’t be back soon so this means Vyncint Smith will have an elevated role in his absence. Let’s talk about this.

The Houston Texans are currently shuffling their deck as they deal with the injuries that were sustained this past week as well as when they were partaking in their first in-game action in about seven months.

The driver of the injury cart was quite busy Thursday night as it was shuttling disappointed Houston Texans players back-and-forth to the locker room.  I honestly didn’t think we were going to see key injuries this early but that’s currently the situation that the team is in.

The versatile Greg Mancz injured his leg late in the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers, causing Zach Fulton to move to the center position and Max Scharping to takeover the right guard duties for his counterpart.

It remains to be seen how long he will be out but he has become a reliable cog to the Houston Texans offensive line despite its woes to protect the quarterback.

The team is still dealing with A.J. McCarron‘s thumb injury.  He’s currently in a cast and is expected to miss most — if not all — of the preseason.  Joe Webb will get the bulk of the snaps during the preseason and I’d expect undrafted rookie Jordan Ta’amu to start getting some work in once he gets acclimated to the playbook once again.

Ta’amu was in the team’s rookie minicamp held this Spring so there is some familiarity with the team’s strategy.

I honestly doubt that we’ll see much of Deshaun Watson this preseason until about Week 3 where he may be offered the opportunity to play the first quarter.  I wouldn’t even chance him out there that much time until we can get a handle on how good the pass protection will be this season.

But lastly, of the injured, Keke Coutee will be heading back to the shelf once again.  He injured his ankle in the first half in the preseason game and Bill O’Brien does not expect either Coutee or McCarron back soon.

Just based on the indicators of the O’Brien saying that things aren’t serious, they’ll probably miss all of the preseason to be ready for Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints next month.

But this opens up a terrific opportunity for the speedy Vyncint Smith, a player that went undrafted

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out of Limestone College last season and has provided some value to the Houston Texans wideout unit.

He’s one of the fastest football players on this team — he can run the 40-yard dash in 4.36 — and can be a terrific deep-ball threat whoever is throwing to him.

It’s not necessarily a lock for Smith to make this team so this is a great time for him to show his worth but at the worst-case scenario, he is still eligible for the practice squad but I doubt he’d be there for long as some team would snatch him up.

It will be a tough decision for the Houston Texans to make when it all comes down to it but I do still see Smith here in Houston donning Deep Steel Blue in some way.

He’ll have to improve on his drops as his catch percentage through the minute amount of time he received last season is a paltry 50 percent.

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I’m hoping for the best — go Houston Texans!

Smith caught five balls for 91 yards  — 18.2 yards per reception — off 10 targets through seven games — one start — in 2018.