NFL

The Houston Texans Just Saw Any Slim Playoff Hopes Take a Severe Hit

The Houston Texans have battled back from an 0-4 start to go 4-3 in their last seven football games. They have won their last two, but at 4-7, their playoff hopes are slim at best. If they had any postseason aspirations, they might now be out the window.

The Texans got off to a rough start

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After signing quarterback Deshaun Watson to a four-year extension worth nearly $160 million, the Houston Texans were ready to roll into 2020. The schedule makers, however, didn’t do them any favors. Their first three games of the season were against the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, and Pittsburgh Steelers. Those teams, as of Week 12, are a combined 26-5.

After starting 0-4, the Texans made a major move by firing their coach and general manager Bill O’Brien. Since then, the Texans are 4-2, although two of those wins have come against the 1-10 Jacksonville Jaguars. Houston’s last two wins have come against the New England Patriots and the Detroit Lions, neither team with a winning record.

The good news for the Texans is three of their remaining five games are against teams that are ahead of them in their division. They have two games against the Indianapolis Colts and another against the division-leading Tennessee Titans. The Texans will need to win out and then get some help to have a shot at making the playoffs.

Will Fuller suspended six games

If the Houston Texans are to make a late-season run and playoff push, they’ll have to do it without their top wide receiver. Will Fuller announced on Instagram that he has been suspended six games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Fuller is in his fifth year in the NFL, all with the Texans.

“Earlier this year, I sought treatment from a medical professional who prescribed medication that he believed to be permitted under the NFL’s drug policy,” Fuller wrote on Instagram. “As it turns out, my trust in this professional was misplaced because this medication was NOT a permitted substance under the NFL Policy on Performance Enhancing Substances. As a result of this mistake, I have been suspended for six games for taking this prohibited medication.”

Fuller is in the final season of his contract and may have played his last down with the Texans. He was having the best season of his career. He had a career-high eight touchdowns and a career-high 879 receiving yards with five games remaining. On Thanksgiving, Fuller had six catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Detroit Lions.

The Houston Texans also lose CB Bradley Roby to suspension

If Will Fuller’s suspension for violating the league’s PED policy wasn’t enough, the Houston Texans were also hit on the defensive side of the ball. Cornerback Bradley Roby was also slapped with a six-game suspension for violating league policy for performance-enhancing drugs. Like Fuller, Roby said he “unknowingly” took a substance that was banned by the NFL.

Roby apologized for his actions and in a statement posted on social media said he “unknowlingly used a product that was contaminated with a banned substance by the NFL. I recognize it’s my job to know, and be responsible for everything I put in my body. I will be suspended for six games, ending my season.”

Roby is considered the Texans’ best cornerback. He had one interception and 37 tackles in 10 games this year.

All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.