NFL Wire News

Safety Moore benched by Texans

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HOUSTON — Veteran free safety Rahim Moore was the only starter benched following the Hosuton Texans’ debacle against the Miami Dolphins.

It was an embarrassing moment for Moore to be a healthy scratch against the Tennessee Titans and be replaced by Andre Hal. Signed to a three-year, $12 million contract this offseason. Moore struggled with his tackling and pursuit angles against the Dolphins, as did the entire defense.

“It was mortifying, crying and all kinds of stuff, but that’s because I love football a lot,” Moore said Monday morning. “You want to be out there. The good feeling about it is we won.”

Moore learned Wednesday he was being benched. Moore has one interception and two more nullified by penalties by teammate Eddie Pleasant.

“It’s shocking, it’s never a good feeling,” Moore said. “Sometimes, things in life you just can’t understand. I wouldn’t say caught off-guard, but it’s a shocking moment.”

When asked what explanation he was given for his loss of status, Moore said: “Ask (head coach) Bill O’Brien, let him tell you. I really don’t know. He’s our head guy and he has all the answers.”

O’Brien declined to get into specific reasons, though.

“I try to make decisions in the best interests of the team,” O’Brien said. “The 46-man roster was I felt the 46 best to beat the Tennessee Titans. Everybody is given an opportunity every day. I’m not going into individual player critiques or anything like that. Each player has things they can improve on.”

Moore was asked what he needs to do to regain his starting job.

“I know I can play this game,” he said. “The film doesn’t lie. Some guys in that situation they fade and you never hear from them again. I feel like my game has never fell off, really.”

–Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney suffered no structural damage to his lower back Sunday when he was forced out of the game in the first half. Clowney’s injury is muscular in nature, said O’Brien, confirming a Houston Chronicle report. Clowney’s status is regarded as day-to-day heading into the bye.

“There was no structural damage,” O’Brien said of Clowney, the top overall pick in the draft last year.

Pro Bowl tackle Duane Brown and rookie safety Kurtis Drummond remained in the NFL concussion testing protocol Monday after leaving the game Sunday with concussions, but were improving Monday.

Veteran cornerback Kareem Jackson (sprained right ankle), wide receiver Cecil Shorts (hamstring) and rookie inside linebacker Benardrick McKinney (concussion) are still recovering from injuries.

–Texans head coach Bill O’Brien was complimentary of veteran nose tackle Vince Wilfork.

Wilfork has drawn some criticism in NFL circles for not being more productive, recording just eight tackles in eight starts. Wilfork has zero tackles during the past two games.

Signed to a two-year, $9 million contract that includes $5 million guaranteed, Wilfork, 33, was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and a two-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots.

As a two-gapping nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme, Wilfork’s primary responsibility is to clog up blocks so linebackers can make tackles. However, the Texans are allowing 123.5 rushing yards per game and 4.4 yards per carry with 988 rushing yards and seven touchdown runs surrendered.

“He’s done his job,” O’Brien said. “I think he’s done what we’ve asked him to do coming in here. He’s in the middle taking up a lot of space, taking up a lot of blocks freeing guys up.”

–The Texans worked out former New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens running back Akeem Hunt and are signing him to the practice squad.

The former Purdue starter ran a 4.37 in the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day workout. Hunt finished his career with over 4,600 all-purpose yards, ranking him among the top backs in Purdue history along with Kory Sheets and Mike Alstott.

–Texans head coach Bill O’Brien was noncommittal on if the team will be active at the NFL trading deadline, but didn’t sound like the team was going to change the roster significantly, if at all.

The deadline is Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. Central time.

“Look, the trading deadline is around the corner here; there’s always roster discussions every single day,” O’Brien said. “Right now, there’s really nothing to be reported anyways.”

When asked about working in a new player, O’Brien replied: “I don’t really see that coming, so for me to answer that question doesn’t really make sense.”


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