Source: Texans promoting center Jimmy Morrissey to 53-man roster

The Texans signed center Jimmy Morrissey to the 53-man roster, promoting him from their practice squad, according to a league source.

The Texans placed veteran center Justin Britt on the reserve-non-football illness list Tuesday after he missed the Denver Broncos game for personal reasons related to football as he contemplates his options. Scott Quessenberry is slated to start his second consecutive game Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

Morrissey has experience. The former Las Vegas Raiders seventh-round draft pick played in five games with four starts for the Texans when Britt was sidelined last season with injuries and COVID-19.

A former Pitt walk-on and Burlsworth Trophy award winner, Morrissey was signed off of the Raiders' practice squad to the Texans' active roster last season.

Morrissey was a three-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection, a four-time all-academic selection and a 47-game starter at Pitt who received the Burlsworth Trophy that goes to the most outstanding college football player who began their career as a walk-on. A 6-foot-4, 305-pounder who was an All-Catholic League and All-City selection in Philadelphia, Morrissey was a preferred walk-on at Pitt over scholarship offers form Lehigh, Bucknell and Colgate. He earned a scholarship after enrolling at Pitt.

The Burlsworth Trophy is named after the late Indianapolis Colts offensive guard Brandon Burlsworth, a former walk-on at Arkansas who earned a scholarship and became a consensus All-American. Burlsworth was killed in a car accident on April 28, 1999 in Alpena, Arkansas 11 days after he was drafted.

The Texans replaced Morrissey on the practice squad with offensive lineman Tre'Vour Wallace-Simms. A former Jacksonville Jaguars undrafted free agent from Missouri, Wallace-Simms was signed by the Texans in June and cut during the initial roster cutdown to 53 players on Aug. 30.

He has played in five career NFL games, all with the Jaguars in 2020 and 2021.

Aaron Wilson is a Pro Football Network reporter and analyst and a contributor to Sports Talk 790.

Houston Texans v Denver Broncos

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Lovie Smith on Texans defensive end Rasheem Green: 'Good football player'

Rasheem Green created overwhelming leverage with a classic rip move, powerfully jamming his right arm underneath the right arm of Denver Broncos right tackle Cameron Fleming.

Once the Texans' defensive end had Fleming leaning off-balance, Green capitalized on his forward momentum by racing around him, generating speed to power to sack his former Seattle Seahawks teammate: Broncos star quarterback Russell Wilson.

In his first regular-season game after missing the season-opener with a thigh injury, Green got to do something he never was allowed to do in practice in Seattle by sacking Wilson with quarterbacks off-limits for contact in practice.

“I knew it was going to be a pass, there was no back in the backfield," Green said. "I was lined up wide, had a plan. I just went out there and was playing fast.” 

Green and the Texans' defense helped limit the Broncos to 3 of 12 conversions on third downs during a 16-9 road loss at Empower Field at Mile High. He had 1 1/2 sacks, five tackles and two quarterback hits.

Green was one of the few bright spots for the Texans, who held Wilson to a 66.5 passer rating on 14 of 31 accuracy for the 17th lowest mark of his 160-game career. The Broncos failed to score on two red-zone shots.

“I feel like the guys up front did a good job of collapsing the pocket and making sure you can’t just go out there and do a whole bunch of running around," Green said. "I feel like the guys on the back end did a good job of making sure their coverage was good.” 


Green recorded a career-high 6 1/2 sacks last season for the Seahawks before joining the Texans as a free agent  on a one-year, $3.25 million deal that includes $1 million guaranteed.

“Rasheem did some very good things," Texans coach Lovie Smith said. "Of course, you notice the flash plays, the big sack, trying to get the football out. His play against the run was pretty good. There’s a reason why he’s been in the mix. He is a good football player. Again, it will be a big challenge this week, but we like what he was able to do."

Ultimately, the Texans came up short in Denver because they were outscored 10-0 in the fourth quarter. They're now 0-1-1 largely because they've been outscored by a combined margin of 27-0 against the Indianapolis Colts and Broncos.

“To me, finishing means you’re out there doing ‘right’ longer," Green said. "So I felt like we were doing ‘right’ for a large amount of the game, but we just got to do it longer and better."

Green had six tackles for losses, 48 tackles and 15 quarterback hits last season.

"My style of play: fast, smart and physical," Green said. "I feel like I left a lot of plays out there. I think that was just the tip of the iceberg. I think there's a lot more out there I can achieve with what we have going on here. I can do a little more."

Green is regarded as an ascending player and a strong fit for the Texans' traditional 4-3 defensive scheme.

After visiting the Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens in free agency, Green chose the Texans in May after the Texans didn't draft a pass rusher.

"It's nice being here," Green said. "The guys have welcomed me. The culture, the city is great. The team is awesome. I like what we've got going on here and I'm just glad to be a part of the team. With the scheme we run here, I feel it suits me well, too."

At 6-foot-4, 279 pounds, Green has the requisite size, speed, strength and moves working in his favor.

He has 99 career tackles, 15 sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 29 quarterback hits.

A former high school All-American growing up in California, Green declared for the NFL draft after his junior year and finished with 115 tackles and 16 1/2 sacks in three college seasons.

Green has been growing on and off the field. He came into his own after dealing with a speech impediment as a child. That led to him being shy, but he has gained confidence and overcame the issue.

"It made me a real shy person," Green said. "Getting better at my speech has made me a more confident person. That’s really helped me on and off the field.”

Texans' Nico Collins on his role: 'I feel like we can build from that'

One of the largest wide receivers in the league at a towering 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, Nico Collins was practically an afterthought during the first game of the season.

The Texans and quarterback Davis Mills made a concerted effort to change that aspect of the game plan during a Sunday road loss to the Denver Broncos.

Collins had just two catches for 26 yards on three targets in a season-opening tie versus the Indianapolis Colts.

Against the Broncos, Collins was significantly more involved and that led to an uptick in production.

Collins tied Brandin Cooks for the most receptions on the team with four catches. He led the team with 58 yards, four more than Cooks, on nine targets as Cooks was targeted a team-high 10 times.

And Collins had a 29-yard reception, Mills' longest completion of the game.

“I feel like we can build from that," Collins said Tuesday. "Got another week to build on, a long season. I feel like it’s a great opportunity for everybody to watch film and come out and work on the things we need to work on. It’s a long season. I feel we’re going to watch this film, find things we need to work on and build from that.”

While the Texans' offense has a lot of problems, Collins can be part of the solution.

The 0-1-1 Texans are averaging just 14.5 points to rank 26th in the NFL in scoring offense, 29th in total offense, 24th in passing offense and 27th in rushing offense heading into a road game against the Chicago Bears.

They have yet to score in the fourth quarter, being outscored by a margin of 27-0 in squandering two leads.

“I feel like we just need to finish in the fourth quarter," Collins said. "It’s a long game. Four quarters, that’s a lot of football. I feel like the last two games haven’t done that well in the fourth quarter, but I feel like it’s a long season. We’re going to improve on that.”

Mills passed for just 177 yards against the Broncos with no touchdowns or interceptions and was sacked three times as he completed 19 of 38 passes and the Texans went 2 for 13 on third downs.

As a rookie last season after being drafted in the third round out of Michigan, the Alabama native caught 33 passes for 446 yards and one touchdown on 60 targets and averaged 13.5 yards per reception.

Collins has the requisite size, speed (4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash), leaping ability and route-running skills and hands to be a higher-volume contributor as a complementary No. 2 presence working in tandem with Cooks.

“Nico is a big target," Texans coach Lovie Smith said. " =As you identify some of the things, after the fact, I thought Nico did some good things when we featured him. As we look at it, big target. When we do go to him, it seems like he’s been a playmaker. That’s one of the areas that yes, we need to be able to get Nico more involved, when we’re passing the football.”

Collins' 58 yards was the third-highest of his career. And his catch total is tied for the second-most of his career, including four catches apiece last year against the Los Angeles Rams and Indianapolis Colts.

Texans offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton has been complimentary of Collins' work.

The Texans didn't go to Collins in the red zone, but he could provide an inviting target for Mills. Especially if defenses continue to concentrate on Cooks.

“It really just comes down to what the game plan is," Collins siad. "We trust it, believe in it. Whenever that time comes, we’ll see what play call is dialed up.”

Aaron Wilson is a Pro Football Network reporter and a contributor to Sports Talk 790.

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