It isn’t often that a team acquires a premium talent off waivers, but the Houston Texans managed to do just that with their claim of defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth on Wednesday. The fifth-year lineman has bounced around the league since signing with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2018 but put up impressive numbers in limited action last season for the Indianapolis Colts.
He played in all 16 games for Indianapolis in 2021, but started just once. in these appearances, he managed to get to the quarterback three times and tallied a total of 16 tackles as well as one pass defense. Though these stats are relatively modest compared to those of other players who are in starting roles around the league, they moved the needle enough for the Kansas City Chiefs to sign him in free agency back in April and kept him around on Steve Spagnuolo’s defense until the team waived him on Tuesday.
Stallworth will have a chance to compete for a rotational role in Houston as a situational pass rusher who can fill in for the Texans’ starters on grueling drives that necessitate fresh legs up front. He should have no problem making an impact on the team in the near future, assuming that they decide to activate him in the final games on their 2022 schedule.
That opportunity may not come, though, as the Texans have been slow to give players previously claimed on waivers a chance to show what they can do for Houston’s offense. Eno Benjamin and Amari Rodgers, who were claimed by the team weeks ago, are still waiting for their shot to see the field despite the team’s struggle with offensive production in recent matchups.
Time will tell if Stallworth pans out as a viable option for the Texans’ defense, but for now, he should be considered a low-risk high-reward addition to the roster that may have upside as a piece in the team’s 2023 rebuild.