Texans rookie cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. is set to miss his second consecutive game due to a strained hamstring.
The first-round draft pick and former consensus All-American from LSU has been sidelined at practice since last week and won't play Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
Selected third overall, Stingley hasn't allowed a touchdown pass all season.
“Hamstrings are tricky a little bit," Texans coach Lovie Smith said. 'You don’t know exactly how long they’ll take. He’s out there, he’s rehabbing, getting better. On exactly when he’ll be ready to go, we don’t know that.”
The Texans don't want to risk a setback for Stingley.
Stingley has provided sound coverage and tackling.
Stingley was replaced at outside cornerback by Desmond King against the Washington Commanders, starting opposite Steven Nelson with Tavierre Thomas filling in as the primary nickel.
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
“Incremental gains every game, rarely makes the same mistake twice," Texans cornerbacks coach Dino Vasso said last week. "He’s competitive. We talked about his resiliency in the pass, so pretty impressed with him up to this point.
“He doesn’t have a physical limitation. I wouldn’t say he has any weaknesses. He has some things he does better than others, but I don’t think he has any limitations or weaknesses. He can do it all in that regard.”
The Texans' defense will be challenged against a strong Dolphins offense led by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and star wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jalen Waddle.
“Coming up, special players," Smith said. "This past wide receiver group that we played, Derek Stingley didn’t play so we were down our No. 1 corner going into the game. I thought Steven Nelson and Desmond King did some good things. We were really high on that receiving corps that we played.
"Miami does a great job with their offense, too, because there’s still a commitment to the run and you have to play their wide receivers a certain way. No one has been able to solve that problem yet."
Aaron Wilson is a contributor to Sports Talk 790.