clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Examining the roster ties between Patriots, Texans ahead of Week 13

A rolodex of names from New England’s past reside in Houston.

NFL: SEP 22 Texans at Chargers Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Houston Texans know the New England Patriots better than most.

The likes of head coach Bill O’Brien, defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, special teams coordinator Brad Seely, executive vice president of team development Jack Easterby and director of college scouting James Liipfert all once worked in Foxborough.

More than a handful of players currently in the Texans’ locker room did, too.

Here’s a glance through those roster ties between New England and Houston heading into Sunday’s 8:20 p.m. ET kickoff at NRG Stadium.


DeAndre Carter, wide receiver – The Patriots signed Carter to the practice squad in December 2015. Released and re-signed to the practice squad the undrafted rookie from Sacramento State would go before agreeing to a futures pact. He was waived at the roster deadline the following August. Now 26, Carter went from the San Francisco 49ers to the Philadelphia Eagles before finding his way to Houston. The 5-foot-8, 190-pound wideout has caught 23 passes for 248 yards and a score with the Texans. He’s returned 449 yards worth of kickoffs and 293 yards worth of punts during his stay.

Chad Hansen, wide receiver – Currently a member of the Houston practice squad, Hansen had been awarded off waivers to the Patriots on Labor Day weekend in 2018. Originally a fourth-round draft choice of the New York Jets via Idaho State and California, Hansen’s time in New England spanned eight days. Stops with the Tennessee Titans, Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints followed. The Texans then claimed Hansen at the start of training camp. He joined the Houston scout team at the tail end of September.

Angelo Blackson, defensive tackle – Blackson has started all 11 games for the Houston defensive line this fall. His stay with the Texans dates back to 2017, a season that saw the former Auburn defensive tackle log all of September and October on the Patriots’ practice squad. But Blackson was signed by Houston off New England’s practice squad as the calendar turned to November. The No. 100 overall pick in the 2015 draft has remained since then. Blackson’s Texans career includes 36 games, 16 starts, 45 tackles and one sack.

Barkevious Mingo, linebacker – The Patriots acquired Mingo, taken at No. 6 in the 2013 draft, from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a fifth-round selection in August 2016. The LSU Tiger proceeded to play 72 percent of the snaps on special teams on the way to earning a Super Bowl LI ring. Mingo joined the Indianapolis Colts the following offseason, and found himself traded from the Seattle Seahawks to Houston as rosters trimmed to 53 this summer. Mingo has checked into every game for the Texans as part of the kicking game. He registered 11 tackles while a member of the Patriots.

Keion Crossen, cornerback – The Western Carolina Catamount collected 14 tackles as a Patriots rookie last season. Crossen, who was in for 113 snaps on special teams over that span, then intercepted a pass and defended a total of five in August’s preseason finale. But New England dealt the seventh-rounder from a year ago to Houston in exchange for a future sixth-rounder before September began. Crossen has since appeared in all 11 contests for the Texans while tallying 10 tackles, one pass breakup and a full-time role on special teams.

A.J. Moore, safety – No Texan has seen more work in the transitional phase in 2019 than Moore. No Texan did in 2018, either. The Ole Miss Rebel originally signed on as an undrafted rookie with the Patriots a spring ago. He’d arrive in Houston as a waiver claim following cutdown day. Moore’s subsequent 27 games as a Texan have featured 18 tackles. The 23-year-old defensive back has been involved in 216 plays on special teams this year.


James Ferentz, center – Earlier this season, the 30-year-old Ferentz made his first career start. And it is a career that started with the Texans back in 2014. Houston signed the free agent out of Iowa that May, and a season-long stop on the practice squad followed. Ferentz would be waived and claimed by the Denver Broncos ahead of 2015. He’d be on the active roster for Super Bowl LIII before returning to it ahead of New England’s 2019 opener. The son of Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz has played in 12 games with the Patriots between guard, center and fullback.

Nick Thurman, defensive tackle – An original member of New England’s 2019 practice squad, Thurman joined the fold following April’s draft. The Houston Cougar had begun his rookie season of 2018 with the Texans, yet was waived after 11 tackles in preseason play. Thurman later signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in April. He found his way to Gillette Stadium three days after his exit from Tampa Bay’s 90-man roster.

John Simon, defensive end – Signed off the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad in early 2014, Simon went on to accrue three seasons in Houston. Those seasons consisted of an even 100 tackles and 10 sacks across 38 games. Simon, a former fourth-round pick by way of Ohio State, made 13 starts while a Texan. He logged 2017 with the Indianapolis Colts before being released in the formative stages of 2018. Simon has started nine games with the Patriots dating back to then. Three sacks, an interception and a forced fumble are owned by the veteran thus far into 2019.