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Texans will look internally, externally to replace Will Fuller

After struggling early in the 2018 season, Deshaun Watson is starting to once again look like that MVP contender he was before getting hurt a season ago.

Houston’s fifth-straight win included the loss of receiver Will Fuller for the year with a torn ACL. Coach Bill O’Brien was asked by reporters on Friday whether the team will look internally or externally to replace Fuller, a first-round pick in 2016.

“I think it’s both,” O’Brien said. “I know there are guys in the locker room that can do certain things. Obviously, if they could do them like Will, they would’ve been out there like Will, but there are definitely guys that can do some things. We’ve got a lot of good players in that locker room. Then, we’re always -- G.M. Brian [Gaine] and his crew -- we’re always trying to do what we think is best for the team.”

One of the internal candidates is Keke Coutee, who has been hampered by injury.

“We’ll see where he’s at,” O’Brien said of Coutee. “He’s a guy that had been playing well for us and hopefully he can come back at some point.”

Coutee’s versatility provides a bonus for the Texans; O’Brien said he can line up on the outside, on the inside, and in the backfield.

“A little bit different than Will, no doubt about it,” O’Brien said. “Every guy’s different but he does a lot of different things.”

And it’s different guys who will add those different things to replace Fuller, including (per O’Brien) Sammie Coats, Vyncint Smith, the team’s tight ends, and the Houston running backs.

“That’s kind of what I was saying,” O’Brien said. “There’s a lot of guys in that locker room that can help fill the void.”

There also are players not on the team who could help fill the void. If a trade will happen (the Texans saw last night what DeVante Parker can do), it needs to happen by Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. ET. Available free agents include Dez Bryant and Jeremy Maclin.