With all three tight ends on the roster in the concussion protocol and doubtful to play in Thursday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Houston Texans are bound to look for some outside help.
Judging from the list of available free agent tight ends, there might not be much help to be found.
The most notable name is Gary Barnidge. A 2015 Pro Bowler for the Cleveland Browns, Barnidge fell off in ’16 and was released as part of Cleveland’s youth movement. He caught 134 passes in the last two seasons, 11 of them going for touchdowns. Other teams have kicked his 31-year-old tires over the summer but he remains unsigned.
Gavin Escobar is a former second-round pick who never panned out for the Dallas Cowboys. He caught just 30 passes in four years. He offers size at 6-foot-6 but did little during a preseason audition with the Chiefs.
Other names include Larry Donnell, a 6-foot-6 former Giants starter who can catch but seems allergic to blocking, and Jace Amaro, like Escobar a failed former second-round pick who couldn’t stick with the Jets or Titans.
The Texans can also sign someone off another team’s practice squad, but it’s asking a lot for an inexperienced practice squad player to pick up Bill O’Brien’s offense in two days.