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Houston Texans cut 13, defensive back remains hotly contested

"Hard Knocks" star Charles James is still in the running at cornerback for the Texans. Amber Searls/USA TODAY Sports

Most significant move: In this early stage of roster trimming, the Houston Texans did not make any particularly surprising or momentous moves. It was a mild surprise that outside linebacker Jason Ankrah was released so soon. He was an undrafted rookie who spent time on the Texans' active roster last season. Receiver Alan Bonner's release signified yet another departure from that disastrous 2013 draft class. Bonner spent his first two seasons on injured reserve. Finally healthy for a training camp, the Texans saw enough of him to feel comfortable with releasing him.

Quessenberry to NFI: The Texans placed offensive lineman David Quessenberry on the non-football illness list. Quessenberry's return to the field will be dependent on the determination of his doctors and the Texans' medical staff. He's been at practices, and working with his teammates at times during training camp. Much of his current rehab work focuses on regaining his endurance after recovering from the cancer that impacted his lungs.

What’s next: Only one defensive back was removed from the roster -- safety Terrance Parks. That means those groups are still very hotly contested and Thursday's game will be a make-or-break game for several players in that group. Hard Knocks star Charles James will be among those looking to make it as a cornerback, as will Jumal Rolle and Darryl Morris. They'll be competing to join Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, A.J. Bouye and Kevin Johnson. At safety, Eddie Pleasant, Andre Hal and Quintin Demps are the top candidates to start. Pleasant appears to have taken a lead there. Corey Moore and Kurtis Drummond remain in the conversation to make the roster.

Texans cuts: T Aaron Adams, OLB Jason Ankrah, WR Jace Davis, WR Alan Bonner, P Will Johnson, WR Travis Labhart, DE Cam McLeod, G Cody White, OT Bryan Witzmann, DT Chris Neild, ILB Jeff Tarpinian. TE Anthony Denham, S Terrance Parks waived injured. LB Reshard Cliett to injured reserve. OL David Quessenberry to non-football illness.