Texans veteran center Justin Britt, starting left tackle Tytus Howard, rookie starting defensive tackle Roy Lopez, veteran defensive end Jordan Jenkins, starting safety Eric Murray and cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr., have all tested positive for COVID-19 and have been placed on the COVID-19 reserve list in the latest cases impacting the Houston Texans' roster.
Lopez, Johnson Jr. and Jenkins have minor symptoms, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly.
Several players, including defensive end Jon Greenard and offensive guard Lane Taylor, have self-reported symptoms.
Lopez, a sixth-round draft pick from Arizona, joins fellow defensive linemen on the COVID-19 list: Jenkins, Maliek Collins, Greenard, Derek Rivers, Jacob Martin and Jaleel Johnson.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy reiterated Thursday that "no discussions" have been held about postponing Sunday's kickoff against the Los Angeles Chargers at NRG Stadium. The Texans have 23 players on the reserve-COVID-19 list.
The Texans signed safety Grayland Arnold and defensive end Chris Smith to the 53-man roster from the practice squad. They activated running back Jaylon Samuels to the practice squad from the reserve COVID-19 list.
If no one is activated from the defensive line, the Texans would have to go with Ross Blacklock as one of the defensive tackles along with newly-signed Xavier Williams, Smith, who's been signed to the 53-man roster, at defensive end and a combination of Ron'Dell Carter and Demone Harris.
Lopez has started 13 of 14 games and has 22 tackles, one sack, four tackles for losses and two quarterback hits, drawing praise for his contributions from the coaching staff and teammates and high analytics grades for run-stopping.
Jenkinstore the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee against the Tennessee Titans and was activated from injured reserve-designated for return last Saturday and played against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Signed to a two-year, $6 million contract this offseason with a maximum value of $8 million, Jenkins has played in nine games this season and has 17 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks.
Jenkins played last season under a one-year, $3.75 million contract for the New York Jets that included $3.25 million guaranteed and a $1.75 million signing bonus. He had 32 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble last season after recording a career-high eight sacks two seasons ago.
The Texans have 23 players on the reserve-COVID-19 list, including wide receiver Brandin Cooks, kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn, linebacker Eric Wilson, the Texans’ only unvaccinated player, per coach David Culley, Johnson, Johnson Jr., Murray,Lopez, Greenard, Martin, Rivers andCollins, linebackers Kamu Grugier-Hill, Christian Kirksey and Tae Davis, offensive guards Lane Taylor and Justin McCray, safeties A.J. Moore and Terrence Brooks, cornerback Terrance Mitchell along with practice squad cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc.
Defensive end DeMarcus Walker, still on injured reserve with a hamstring strain, has been activated from the COVID-19 reserve list and designated for return.
The Chargers have defensive end Joey Bosa and running back Austin Ekeler on the COVID-19 reserve list.