The Texans plan to elevate defensive linemen Chris Smith and Demone Harris from the practice squad due to an outbreak of coronavirus cases across the defensive line and a spread across the roster.
Texans coach David Culley indicated that there may be more cases in addition to the 15 players already on the COVID-19 reserve list. He added that he didn't expect to get back any players Wednesday from the COVID-19 list. Vaccinated players can be activated if they have two consecutive negative tests 24 hours apart.
The Texans have six defensive lineman that have already tested positive: Jon Greenard, Jacob Martin, Jaleel Johnson, Derek Rivers, Maliek Collins and DeMarcus Walker.
Smith, 29, is a 6-foot-1, 266-pound former Jacksonville Jaguars fifth-round draft pick from Arkansas who has also played for the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers and Las Vegas Raiders.
He had one sack Sunday against the Jaguars.
Smith had a career-high three sacks and 26 tackles in 2017 with the Bengals and 21 tackles.
He has 71 career tackles and 10 1/2 career sacks.
A former undrafted free agent from the University of Buffalo, Harris (6-foot-4, 272 pounds) was a Burlsworth Trophy nominee and second-team all-conference selection. A three-year starter, he had 55 tackles, five sacks and seven quarterback hurries as a senior.
He has played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs.
He has four career tackles. Harris has run the 40-yard dash in 4.77 seconds.
The Texans signed defensive linemen Xavier Williams (6-foot-3, 309 pounds) and Ron'Dell Carter (6-foot-3, 269 pounds) on Tuesday to the active roster.
Williams worked out for the Texans previously. He had 22 tackles and one sack last season for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Carter is a former Dallas Cowboys undrafted free agent from James Madison University.
The Texans signed linebacker Josh Watson to the practice squad.
As a contagious strain of the coronavirus spreads through the NFL, the pandemic is impacting the Texans' locker room.
Texans starting offensive guards Lane Taylor and Justin McCray both missed the game after testing positive. They're all on the reserve-COVID-19 list along with Johnson, Greenard, Martin, Rivers, Collins and linebackers Kamu Grugier-Hill and Christian Kirksey, safety A.J. Moore, corner Terrance Mitchell, safety Terrence Brooks, Walker and practice squad running back Jaylen Samuels and cornerback Cre'Von LeBlanc.