Undrafted Houston Texans DT Hebron Fangupo Carted off Field at OTAs

Sigmund BloomNFL Draft Lead WriterMay 21, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Defensive lineman Loni Fangupo of Brigham Young participates in a drill during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Houston Texans came together about as dramatically as any unit in the league in 2011 under new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. The Texans were missing former number one overall pick Mario Williams for most of the year, but everything except for one piece had fallen into place in the starting eleven.

That position—a two-gapping nose tackle who could demand double-teams as an immovable object—went unaddressed in the draft. Instead, the Texans made one of the more savvy undrafted free-agent pickups in the league. They added BYU defensive tackle Hebron "Loni" Fangupo, a 6'1", 323-pound fireplug. 

Fangupo was tailor-made for the nose tackle position. He lifted 225 pounds 36 times at the combine and ties up two blockers like he was born to do it. Fangupo is not very athletic and his inability to add much beyond clogging up the middle of an offense probably greased the chute for his fall out of the draft, but it made him perfect for the Texans' need on defensive line.

The most trusted voice on all things Texans, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, reported the bad news on Twitter this morning:

Rookie free agent NT Hebron Fangupo was carted off at OTA. Got caught up in pile. No word on injury.

— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) May 21, 2012

We'll know more about Fangupo's injury by Tuesday, but in the meantime, the Texans are staring down the barrel of a rotation of Shaun Cody and Earl Mitchell (who did add 21 pounds in the offseason to be better suited for the nose tackle position) in the middle of the defensive line again this year.

Update: The Texans official twitter account reports that Fangupo will miss the rest of this week, but could return next week, so clearly his injury was not serious.