Houston Texans' 53-man roster projection: What will team do with Deshaun Watson?

HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans open the 2021 NFL regular season against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 12 at NRG Stadium. The Texans finished 2020 with a 4-12 record, third in the AFC South.

By signing 53 new players since the end of last season, general manager Nick Caserio has created a lot of turnover on a roster that only won four games in 2020. Can Houston rebound from their worst season since 2017 and do it without Deshaun Watson, who faces 22 lawsuits alleging sexual assault and inappropriate behavior and is currently being investigated by the FBI for those allegations?

The roster will be cut to 53 players by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Here is a projection:

QUARTERBACK (3): Tyrod Taylor, Davis Mills, Deshaun Watson

Unless something changes with Watson's legal situation and the NFL puts him on the commissioner's exempt list, the quarterback could start the season on Houston's 53-man roster and be a healthy scratch for games. Taylor should start Week 1, but at what point will Caserio and head coach David Culley need to see whether Mills has a shot to be the Texans' quarterback of the future?

RUNNING BACK (4): David Johnson, Phillip Lindsay, Mark Ingram II, Rex Burkhead

This is a veteran-heavy room after Caserio signed Lindsay, Ingram and Burkhead during the offseason. Lindsay will be the Texans' starting running back, while Johnson is expected to slot in on third downs.