Texans standout rookie cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. was sidelined at practice Thursday due to a hamstring injury.
His status for Sunday's game against the Washington Commanders has not been determined yet, per a league source.
The Texans are expected to take precautions with their first-round draft pick and won't risk a setback for the former consensus All-American from LSU. The injury could potentially sideline him depending on how he progresses within the next few days.
Drafted third overall, Stingley hasn't allowed a touchdown pass all season and has provided sound coverage and tackling.
Not having Stingley would impact the defense against a talented Commanders receiving corps headlined by Terry McLaurin.
Stingley would likely be replaced as an outside cornerback by Desmond King starting opposite Steven Nelson with Tavierre Thomas filling in as the primary nickel.
The Texans re-signed cornerback BoPete Keyes to the practice squad and cut running back Gerrid Doaks from the practice squad.
In other injury updates, Texans defensive tackle Maliek Collins (chest), wide receiver Nico Collins (groin), wide receiver Brandin Cooks (hip, wrist), offensive guard Kenyon Green (shoulder), linebacker Christian Kirksey (neck), linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin (groin) and running back Dare Ogunbowale (foot) participated fully. Linebacker Neville Hewitt (hamstring) returned to practice on a limited basis.
Stingley has recorded 43 tackles, one interception and one sack, starting nine games for the 1-7-1 Texans. He has played 97 percent of the defensive snaps this season. He has been targeted 53 times, allowing 34 completions for 409 yards and an opposing quarterback rating of 79.8.
“I think he’s been doing a good job,” said Nelson, one of the highest graded corners in the league this year in his eighth NFL season. “He doesn’t speak too much, but that’s what you want. You don’t want a guy who talks a lot. You want him to prove it with his actions. He puts his head down and goes to work.”
At 6-foot, 190 pounds, with a recorded 4.37 40-yard dash, Stingley has speed to burn. The Texans identified him as the top cornerback on their draft board and, thus, selected him one pick before the New York Jets drafted Cincinnati All-American corner Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. Then, Stingley signed a fully guaranteed, four-year, $34.6 million contract that includes a $22.3 million signing bonus and a fifth-year club option.
A two-time All-SEC selection, Stingley is a former blue-chip who finished his college career with 73 tackles, seven tackles for loss, six interceptions, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.
The Texans targeted Stingley as their chosen corner for a reason.
“That’s why we drafted him that high,” Texans coach Lovie Smith said.
Aaron Wilson is a contributor to Sports Talk 790.