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2018 Houston Texans starters, 53-man roster, schedule prediction

Lamar Miller, who is coming off of an 888-yard, 3-touchdown 2018 season, enters the 2018 regular season as the Texans' starting running back. Shanna Lockwood/USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans roster heading into the 2018 season (starters in bold):

QUARTERBACK (3): Deshaun Watson, Brandon Weeden, Joe Webb III

Houston hopes Watson can pick off where he left off last season before he tore his ACL -- he threw for 1,699 yards with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions in seven games -- and of course, stay healthy behind an improved offensive line.

RUNNING BACK (4): Lamar Miller, Alfred Blue, Tyler Ervin, Buddy Howell

Miller reported to camp leaner and quicker and hoping to rebound from his career-worst performance in 2017. Foreman, a third round pick in 2017, will start the season on the PUP list, as he is still recovering from a torn Achilles. The Texans also cut fullback Jay Prosch, who had signed a three-year contract extension a year ago.

WIDE RECEIVER (6): DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, Bruce Ellington, Keke Coutee, Sammie Coates, Vyncint Smith

The Texans' receiving corps is stronger than the group was a year ago at this point, especially with a healthy Fuller. Coutee missed most of training camp with a hamstring injury, but now that he is back, he should get opportunities in the slot.

TIGHT END (3): Ryan Griffin, Jordan Akins, Jordan Thomas.

With the retirement of C.J. Fiedorowicz, Griffin will be the starting tight end and will be even more involved in the passing game. Houston drafted two tight ends -- Akins (third round), who is expected to be more of a receiving threat, and Thomas (sixth round), whom the Texans want to develop into a blocking tight end.

OFFENSIVE LINE (8): JuliƩn Davenport, Senio Kelemete, Nick Martin, Zach Fulton, Seantrel Henderson, Martinas Rankin, Greg Mancz, Kendall Lamm

The Texans are hoping that the revamped offensive line can be a lot better than the group that allowed 54 sacks (the second-most in the NFL) last season. Houston has four new starters: Davenport (LT), Kelemete (LG), Fulton (RG) and Henderson (RT). Rankin, a third-round pick, missed most of training camp on the PUP list, but will likely back up both tackle positions.

DEFENSIVE LINE (7): J.J. Watt, D.J. Reader, Christian Covington, Brandon Dunn, Joel Heath, Carlos Watkins, Angelo Blackson

Watt (if he can stay healthy) and Reader are two strong players up front. The Texans clearly feel strongly about this group, opting to keep Heath and Blackson.

LINEBACKER (9): Jadeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus, Benardrick McKinney, Zach Cunningham, Dylan Cole, Brennan Scarlett, Duke Ejiofor, Peter Kalambayi, Brian Peters

If players on this unit can stay healthy, the Texans have an especially talented group headlined by Clowney, Mercilus, McKinney and Cunningham, who had an impressive rookie season. The position group was thin at the end of last season because of injuries, but drafting Ejiofor and Kalambayi improved the depth.

SECONDARY (10): Johnathan Joseph, Aaron Colvin, Tyrann Mathieu, Kareem Jackson, Kevin Johnson, Justin Reid, Johnson Bademosi, Kayvon Webster, Natrell Jamerson, A.J. Mooore.

By moving Jackson to safety, the Texans are hoping that Johnson, their 2015 first-round pick who has struggled since he was drafted, can stay healthy and have a productive season. The Texans don't have a ton of depth in the secondary, but they did improve the unit by signing Mathieu and drafting Reid this offseason.

SPECIALIST (3): K Ka'imi Fairbairn, P Trevor Daniel, LS Jon Weeks

The Texans went with Daniel, an undrafted rookie, over the veteran Shane Lechler. Fairbairn has missed time because of injury, but will be back for the start of the season in New England.