In an assertive play, the team has elevated the indomitable kicker Matt Ammendola and the solid as steel linebacker Garret Wallow from the practice squad directly onto the 53-man roster, as confirmed by those at the heart of the league’s pulse.
This strategic maneuver materialized just moments before the Texans stamped these roster modifications with their official seal. But as one star rises, another must rest — nickel safety Grayland Arnold finds himself on injured reserve, sidelined by a calf injury that demands his respite. Meanwhile, safety Brandon Hill and the lightning-fast wide receiver and kick returner Steven Sims Jr. make their leap to the active roster, having proven their mettle on the practice squad.
When Sunday’s pressure cooker of a game boiled down to the wire, it was Matt Ammendola who emerged ice-cool, drilling the game-winner without a tick left, clinching an exhilarating 30-27 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. As the crowd’s roar still echoes in our ears, Ammendola shared his tranquil mantra with KPRC 2, “Calm and confident… Sometimes, you’ve just got to be free out there. Whatever happens, happens, but it felt good to get it done.”
On the other side of the ball, Garret Wallow, the stalwart former fifth-round draft pick and a decorated All-Big 12 alumnus from TCU, has tackled adversity head-on. Last season he graced the gridiron for 13 games, starting thrice and racking up 13 tackles, one for a loss, in a display of sheer gridiron gumption. From his rookie strides against the Jaguars to prevailing over an offseason ankle injury, Wallow’s journey back to the field is a testament to his unyielding spirit.
Wallow’s return takes on greater significance amidst the turbulent waters of the Texans’ linebacker corps, with Denzel Perryman suspended for two games and Henry To’oTo’o still caught in the concussion protocol’s grasp. With every challenge, there emerges an opportunity, and Wallow is seizing his with both hands.
Meanwhile, Ammendola steps into the cleats of the regular kicker, Ka’imi Fairbairn, consigned to injured reserve by a strained quadriceps. Despite having mere days to attune himself with the cadence of long snapper Jon Weeks and punter-holder Cameron Johnston, Ammendola was a portrait of precision, boasting an impeccable streak of field goals and extra points.
Texans coach DeMeco Ryans couldn’t hide his admiration, praising the veteran kicker’s sterling performance, “Matt stepped in and did an unbelievable job for us. After only being with us for a week, he nailed it. His poise and capability shone bright — we’re thrilled to have him and proud of his tenacity.”
The 26-year-old Ammendola, a journeyman with a résumé stretching across the league — from the Carolina Panthers to the Green Bay Packers — reflects thoughtfully on his path: “The Texans took a chance on me. I’m just trying to make the most of every opportunity… It’s honestly just a blessing to be out here with these guys and have fun with it.”