Most significant move: When the Texans traded up for Louis Nix III in the third round of the 2014 draft, the only real concern about Nix was his health. The defensive lineman had knee issues in college that contributed to his fall in the draft. At first, health was exactly Nix's problem. He had knee surgery last summer, then sustained a wrist injury and wound up on injured reserve in September after not playing a down his rookie year. Clearly displeased with his progress, Texans coach Bill O'Brien said during that season that Nix had a long way to go in learning how to be a professional. Months later, during the NFL league meetings in Arizona, O'Brien reiterated his displeasure with Nix, saying he had no idea where Nix was. Asked what he'd like to see from Nix, O'Brien said he'd like to see Nix "make it through a practice." Nix stayed healthy throughout this year's offseason and even through its preseason. He started every preseason game as the Texans rested Vince Wilfork, but the Texans did not see what they wanted from him. Practice squad is a possibility for Nix.
Martin survives again: There will be movement on rosters after this weekend's cuts as teams make waiver claims, but receiver Keshawn Martin has survived the cut to 53. Martin is a fighter. He has found himself fighting for a roster spot in each of the last two offseasons. The Texans considered keeping only five receivers, but are at six with Martin. "When we got here, we weren’t sure exactly how he fit into our offense," O'Brien said. "He’s a very hardworking guy. He’s got really good hands. He’s a smart player. You don’t hear a lot from him. He really just goes out there every day and he works. He works very hard. He’s picked up our offense."
Hard cuts for "Hard Knocks" stars: Cornerback Charles James, receiver EZ Nwachukwu and outside linebackers Lynden Trail and Kourtnei Brown got plenty of air time on "Hard Knocks" this year and became players many viewers grew attached to -- especially Nwachukwu and James. None made the roster. Nwachukwu was one of the Texans' earlier cuts. James, though, went right down to the wire. The Texans did put out feelers to see if they could get anything in exchange for him or Jumal Rolle. When no deals materialized, the Texans made the choice between Rolle and James, opting for Rolle.
What's next: The Texans will be scouring the waiver wire just in case there are players who might fit their needs. Though many have speculated they're in the market for the various running backs who might be available through a trade or after cuts, the Texans are being more deliberate at that position. Arian Foster's return will come more quickly than we anticipated when he had groin surgery one month ago, and the Texans don't consider finding another back an urgent matter.
Texans cuts: OLB Kourtnei Brown, S Corey Moore, DE Tevita Finau, OT Matt Feiler, NT Brandon Deadrick, RB Kenny Hilliard, WR Damaris Johnson, ILB Max Bullough, WR EZ Nwachukwu, WR Chandler Worthy, C James Ferentz, DE Fili Moala, OT Joseph Treadwell, DE Dan Pettinato, CB Charles James, NT Louis Nix III, and S Kurtis Drummond. OLBs Lynden Trail and OLB Tony Washington were waived/injured. QB Tom Savage and OG Chad Slade were placed on injured reserve.