Houston Texans keep RB options open after cutting roster to 75

Only two of the running back group of Alfred Blue (above), Jonathan Grimes, Akeem Hunt and Kenny Hilliard will likely make the Texans. Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans cut 10 players on Tuesday to trim their roster to the NFL-mandated 75 players. Here's a closer look at the first cuts:

Most significant move: Defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan, the Texans' sixth-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft, was given an injury settlement. Pagan is only the second pick in the three drafts Texans head coach Bill O'Brien has been a part of to not be with the team anymore. Pagan was injured throughout training camp and did not play in the Texans' first three preseason games.

Kicking competition is over: By putting Ka'imi Fairbairn on injured reserve, the Texans have ended the kicking competition. Veteran Nick Novak, who hit three field goals in the team's second preseason game and two Sunday against the Cardinals, will be the kicker for the Texans this season. Fairbairn has been dealing with a quadriceps injury in training camp, but by putting him on injured reserve instead of waiving him, the Texans can take a look at him next offseason and training camp as well.

Competition at running back continues: O'Brien and Texans general manager Rick Smith will use the fourth preseason game against the Cowboys in Dallas to make final decisions on whom they will keep at running back. Running back Lamar Miller will be the starter, and fourth-round pick Tyler Ervin will make the team. The Texans also have Alfred Blue, Jonathan Grimes, Akeem Hunt and Kenny Hilliard on the roster, but they will likely keep only two of those.

Injury moves: The Texans also put safety Kurtis Drummond and third-round pick center Nick Martin on injured reserve. Martin will miss at least four months of the season, sources told ESPN, but the Texans could choose to bring him back to practice under the revised injured reserve with return designation rule. The previous rule, adopted in 2012, required a team to decide if it wanted to designate a player to return when it put him on IR. In March, the NFL owners passed a change that allows a team to bring any one player back, provided he has spent at least six weeks on injured reserve. Safety Lonnie Ballentine was placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. Under NFL rules, he must miss at least the first six games of the season.

Texans' moves: DR Jeoffrey Pagan, OLB Gerald Rivers, CB Duke Thomas, OLB Carlos Thompson, WR Josh Lenz, DT Ra'Zahn Howard, WR Tevin Jones, ILB Ryan Langford, T Matt Pierson, T Arturo Uzdavinis.