Subtracting the dynamic presence of wide receiver Brandin Cooks from the Texans' offense represents a major blow.
With Cooks sidelined along with 22 other Texans players who have tested positive for COVID-19 for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Chargers, the Texans have lost a player who has 80 receptions for 945 yards and five touchdowns. He leads the Texans with 968 yards from scrimmage.
Without Cooks, the Texans will turn to wide receivers Nico Collins, Phillip Dorsett, Chris Conley, Chris Moore and Danny Amendola. They can also elevate wide receiver Jordan Veasy from the practice squad.
None of those players have Cooks' explosiveness.
"It’s a hard job to fill Brandin’s shoes," Moore said. "He does a lot. He’s a special player on the field. In the receiver room, it’s always the next man up here in this situation. We’re just trying to stay prepared and stay ready to go just in case our number’s called.
"As far as the COVID situation, it kind of sucks right now because we’re losing a lot of teammates and it’s happening every day. This is something we knew was possible going into the season and it’s something that the whole league is dealing with, so we’re just going to continue to battle through it.”
Cooks caught a pair of touchdown passes against the Jacksonville Jaguars during a 30-16 victory last week.
Not having Cooks represents a major blow to the Texans' offense. The former New Orleans Saints first-round draft pick has 563 career receptions for 7,825 and 45 touchdowns.
“Fortunately for us we’ve got good receivers on this roster with Nico, with Chris (Conley), Chris Moore’s come in and made good plays for us," Texans offensive coordinator Tim Kelly said. "Obviously, you look at Phillip coming in and making a couple of plays for us here the other day. We definitely have guys that are capable and able of stepping up and making plays.
"Obviously, we will have to wait and see who we have available for us and like I said, we’re going to put our guys in the best position possible to win those matchups and put us in a spot to go out there and score points. Obviously, we are going to have to see what cards we are dealt and then we will make sure we are adjusting appropriately.”