On Tuesday, the Houston Texans announced that it has moved on from kicker Randy Bullock and signed free agent veteran Nick Novak. The team's new placekicker will be joining its active roster immediately.
The Texans picked Bullock out of Texas A&M during the 2012 NFL fifth-round draft. In 2013, he made 26 of 35 attempted field goals. While some urged the team to replace him, then-coach Gary Kubiak stood firm that he remain in Houston. It paid off in the 2014 season when the kicker successfully made 30 out of 35 field goals, including 4 of 5 from 50 yards or longer.
However, the move to waive Bullock was made two days after he missed two extra points in the first three games and a 43-yard field goal in the team's 19-9 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. He is the only kicker in this current season to have missed more than one extra-point attempt.
Novak beat out Connor Barth and Kai Forbath, among others, to replace Bullock on the Houston lineup. He has been in the NFL for eight seasons and has played for the San Diego Chargers, Arizona Cardinals, Washington Redskins, and Kansas City Chiefs. The 34-year-old veteran spent most of his career with the Chargers where he effectively made 86.3% of his field goal attempts during a four-season span.
Meanwhile, the Texans have been struggling to score points throughout the first three weeks, and a lot of that struggle is said to be related to Arian Foster being out. It now appears that help is on the way as the running back is reportedly recovering well from the groin injury he sustained in August.
Foster's return, which will be his first game of the 2015 season, could come as early as Sunday when Houston goes against the Atlanta Falcons. On Wednesday, Texans coach Bill O'Brien said that the running back has already practiced and will be a game-time decision when his team faces the Atlanta Falcons this coming weekend.
When asked if he knows Foster's status, O'Brien responded and said that it will be "The night before or 90 minutes before."
It pays to note that the 6-foot-one running back has yet to finish one full week of practice. Foster has been training only on a limited basis for the past two weeks following his preseason groin surgery. The coach mentioned that he would need to be a full participant in practice in order to get back on the action this season.