The Houston Texans have signed two veteran defenders to try and fill the massive shoes left behind with the season-ending injuries to starters J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus.
Outside linebacker Lamarr Houston and defensive end Kendall Langford joined the team after they were among several free agents who worked out on Tuesday.
Houston will try and help mitigate Mercilus’ loss. The 30-year-old Houston didn’t survive the Chicago Bears final cuts. In his one healthy season in Chicago, the Texas Longhorn product bagged 8 sacks in 2015. He missed time in both ’14 and ’16 with knee injuries. He spent his first four seasons in Oakland
He spent his first four seasons in Oakland and consistently showed he could win the edge against offensive tackles in both the run and pass. He’s not anywhere near as versatile or rangy as Mercilus, however.
Langford will fit into the end rotation as the Texans attempt to cope with losing All-Pro Watt. Now 31, he’s been a solid starter for several years, most recently with the Indianapolis Colts. Like Houston, his career-high in sacks came in 2015, with seven. He’s a natural widebodied 3-4 end with five seasons of over 30 tackles.