Texans beat writer John Harris:
I’m convinced Nate Washington could get open against his shadow. When Bill O’Brien said he’d be the No. 2 WR if the season started today, many raised an eyebrow, shocked a bit at the declaration. But, if you took the numbers off the receivers, didn’t know one from the other and watched every single play, you’d also come away thinking he should be the No. 2 receiver.
Now, most people will wonder aloud what about Cecil Shorts III? Wasn’t he brought here to be the number two wide out? Don’t worry, he’s had a strong camp and today was his best day, in my opinion. He was Mallett’s go-to guy on shallow to intermediate routes, especially early in practice, and he can make something after the catch as well.
Washington is something of a fantasy cockroach, in that he's a survivor. He has finished in the top 65 in seven straight seasons, with an average ranking of 43.4 in PPR formats. He's also in line for a lot of snaps if he wins the WR2 job, though he'll have to hold off Shorts and rookie Jaelen Strong.
To be fair, rookie Jaelen Strong had a rough spring and has time in camp to close the gap. But in Shorts and Washington, he'll have to overcome a couple of very experienced veterans. Shorts (27) is younger than Washington (32), but Washington has been more durable in recent years. Given the team's quarterback situation, there isn't a whole lot to like in the passing game other than Hopkins, who figures to be a target-hog.
Texans beat writers John McClain and Brian T. Smith discuss the candidates to replace Andre Johnson as the starter opposite DeAndre Hopkins. Smith said that "big picture" Jaelen Strong should be the guy, but Smith asked, "can he make enough of an impression during training camp?" The Texans are looking for consistency from the rookie.
Smith went on to say that Cecil Shorts "looked impressive" in camp, showing "really nice hands" and was the "one guy who truly stood out" at receiver.
Smith doesn't believe that Nate Washington will start, but went on to say that he could "really help this team" with his speed in three-WR sets.
Washington was the player that HC Bill O'Brien singled out, but it sounds like Smith believes that either Shorts or Strong will end up starting opposite of Hopkins. This may be something of a committee throughout the season and the quarterback situation in Houston makes it a dicey proposition to buy into the Texans' pass offense. Still, Strong is worthy of a late-round flier given his 15th round ADP even if he isn't starting Week 1.
The top options here include free-agent pickups Nate Washington (31) and Cecil Shorts III (27), and rookie Jaelen Strong, who was taken in the third round with the 70th pick in this year's draft. Strong's start has been delayed a bit, and we'll get to that more later. Coach Bill O'Brien was effusive in his praise of Washington last week. "I really like Nate. I think he's been a good addition to our football team, both from a veteran leadership standpoint and then from his route-running ability. He's really practiced hard all spring. He's been here a lot. He's been out there every day at practice. He's picked up our offense well. He's always communicating with the other receivers and the quarterbacks. I think he's going to add a lot to our offense. I'm glad he's here."
Strong suffered a hamstring injury during the Texans' first OTAs, which is sometimes an injury that is the result of not being in the right condition for practice. He hasn't returned yet, which is a function of those kinds of injuries. Too much time lost will be a big problem, but we aren't there yet. O'Brien called the injury minor a couple of weeks ago.
The WR2 spot in Houston is wide open. Cecil Shorts should be the frontrunner, but it sounds like Washington is the one turning heads. He's a savvy vet who has produced whenever he sees significant targets. Strong is missing valuable reps.
This offseason so far reminds me of the Texans offseasons when it was Andre Johnson and a buncha rando wide receivers competing to see who would be starters. No receiver targets in OTAs have been *oh-wow* type guys where you see a particularly positive future for him when they are in the offense longer.
Texans writer John Harris: When the Texans signed Nate Washington, I wrote a piece on him as it pertained to how his veteran savvy could be seen in his route running. I watched him closely today on a few of his routes and that man can get open in a phone booth. He has a knack of selling his routes to get open and it’s fun to watch a veteran at his age still know how to find seams or win against man coverage.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 4:13pm
WR Nate Washington signed a one-year deal for $1 million, including $30,000 guaranteed.
Charlie Whitehurst will get the start in what is shaping up to be one of the worst Thursday Night Football games of all time. Kendall Wright is active after missing a couple of games with a hand injury, and apparently won’t be wearing a splint or a cast on his hand. He’s not a great start, but he’s been pretty solid when active and with Justin Hunter out, he should get plenty of targets. We prefer Nate Washington, who had a strong Week 15. The matchup against Jacksonville (#4 in WR aFPA) is not favorable.
Friday, December 5, 2014, 6:38pm
Titans WR Kendall Wright (hand, questionable) missed practice again Friday and is questionable for Week 14. Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean said he thinks Wright is a “no-go” for Sunday due to a splint on his right wrist. Wright said he “hopes” to go in Week 15, but will see how he feels on Sunday. If he’s out, downgrade Zach Mettenberger and upgrade Delanie Walker, Nate Washington and Derek Hagan. Dexter McCluster might be a sneaky PPR play as well, since he can do some of the same things as Wright.
The Tennessee Titans already have lost one starting wide receiver this week because of a lacerated spleen. Now another starter has a sore right hand that kept him out of practice Thursday.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Kendall Wright hurt his hand on a route Wednesday, so they gave him the day off to rest his hand. Wright wore a splint on his hand during the open portion of practice, and Whisenhunt says they should know more about the receiver's hand Friday with an X-ray planned.
Hunter wrote on Twitter he couldn't wait to get back to his own bed Tuesday a few hours before the Titans announced the roster move.
He was hurt Sunday when hit by Texans safety Danieal Manning in the first quarter on a pass that was intercepted. Hunter returned only to be taken to the hospital after complaining of stomach pains during the 45-21 loss.
Nate Washington should see more of a role now as the WR2. Derek Hagan and Kris Durham will move up the depth chart. QB Zach Mettenberger's status is uncertain heading into Week 14 and the entire Titan offense is probably one to stay away from for the most part, especially heading into the fantasy playoffs.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 6:11pm
Titans WR Justin Hunter (knee) took limited practice reps Wednesday. Hunter wasn’t limited against the Steelers, so for now we’ll assume he’ll be out there against the Eagles. If he’s out, Nate Washington will be a Sneaky Start in a great matchup.
Friday, November 7, 2014, 6:15pm
Titans WR Nate Washington (shoulder, questionable) took full practice reps on Friday after being limited earlier in the week and is questionable for Week 10. Washington is expected to play against the Ravens, though the questionable tag raises some doubt. His absence would make Justin Hunter an even better start against the Ravens.
Thursday, November 6, 2014, 6:28pm
Titans WR Nate Washington (shoulder) took limited practice reps again Thursday. Washington is expected to play against the Ravens.
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