HOUSTON -- Veteran linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill is being cut by the Texans at his request, according to a league source.
Grugier-Hill's departure comes as the Texans intend to continue to increase the playing time of rookie linebacker Christian Harris, a speedy third-round draft pick from Alabama. Harris will work in tandem with middle linebacker Christian Kirksey, the defensive signal caller and team captain. The Texans will also utilize linebackers Garret Wallow and Blake Cashman.
Grugier-Hill re-signed this offseason with the Texans on a one-year, $4 million contract. The Texans retained their leading tackler coming off breakthrough season: career-high 108 tackles, 13 for losses, three sacks, one interception, five quarterback hits. He was a Pro Bowl alternate.
Against the Las Vegas Raiders, though, Grugier-Hill played just 18 snaps (32 percent) as Harris played 68 percent of the snaps. Grugier-Hill has 40 tackles, one for a loss this season. He is expected to draw plenty of interest as a free agent when the Texans officially terminate his contract.
Grugier-Hill played last season under a one-year, $3.25 million contract.
Previously with the Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots, Grugier-Hill forced two fumbles and had an interception that he returned 82 yards in a win over the Tennessee Titans.
The Texans brought in former Pittsburgh Steelers and Texas A&M linebacker Buddy Johnson for a visit, but he wasn't immediately signed to a contract, per a league source.
Meanwhile, the Texans addressed their need for reinforcements at defensive tackle with starter Maliek Collins sidelined with a chest injury.
They signed veteran defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson off the Atlanta Falcons' practice squad, according to a league source.
Johnson is a former Minnesota Vikings fourth-round draft pick from Iowa who was with the Texans last season before being released, then re-signed off the New Orleans Saints' practice squad when defensive tackle Vincent Taylor broke his ankle.
He played in 12 games last season for the Texans, recording 23 tackles, two for losses and one quarterback hit and one fumble recovery.
In 2020 with the Vikings, he had 44 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks.
For his career, Johnson (6-foot-2, 316 pounds) has recorded 110 tackles, 5 1/2 sacks, 11 tackles for losses and 10 quarterback hits.
Meanwhile, practice squad wide receiver Drew Estrada got injured in practice.
Estrade, an undrafted rookie from Baylor, tore his Achilles, per a league source, with more tests pending to confirm.
Estrada (6-foot, 196 pounds) is a Dartmouth transfer who caught 30 passes for 367 yards last season at Baylor. He had six catches for 33 yards and one touchdown in the Big 12 championship game.
At Dartmouth, he had 2,392 career all-purpose yards and was a second-team All-Ivy League selection as a wide receiver and return specialist.
Aaron Wilson is a contributor to Sports Talk 790.