Houston to stage QB competition: Just because the Houston Texans signed Ryan Fitzpatrick to replace Matt Schaub on the roster, doesn’t mean the veteran is going to be gifted the starting job. Head coach Bill O’Brien told reporters that the job is still “wide open”, though he did toss some praise in Fitzpatrick’s direction. Considering the competition includes Case Keenum, T.J. Yates and Tom Savage, it would be a mild surprise if the former Harvard man didn’t win the job. But whoever wins the job is likely going to have an impact on the receiving corps — especially an already disgruntled Andre Johnson.
Ellington to see big workload: Chalk up another reason to believe in Andre Ellington’s sleeper status in 2014. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians says he wants to get the second-year running back 25-30 touches per game this season as the team’s lead back. As a running back (and a fantasy enthusiast), it’s everything you like to hear heading into a new campaign. But it also seems optimistic for a rusher who averaged fewer than 19 touches during his most productive season at Clemson — and that was in just 13 games. Expecting that Ellington could shoulder that type of load for a full 16 games in an offense that also boasts Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd is either very optimistic or very foolish. Look for Ellington to take a big step forward this year, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if Arians switches up the game plan midway through the season.
Hixon done for the year: It looks like Domenik Hixon’s NFL career is over. The journeyman receiver signed with the Bears this offseason, but announced his injury via social media Tuesday. It’s the third time Hixon has suffered the injury, which makes it more likely that he won’t ever play in the NFL again. Hixon was likely going to find himself in a battle for the third receiver slot along with veteran Josh Morgan. It remains to be seen which of Chicago’s other young receivers could challenge for the position now.
– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG