Quarterback Case Keenum and free safety Troy Nolan were among the Texans' roster cuts on Friday.
Other notables included fullback Moran Norris, running back Jonathan Grimes and safety Eddie Pleasant as the Texans reduced their roster from 75 players to the regular-season limit of 53.
The Texans released 20 players outright. Tackle Rashad Butler was placed on injured reserve with a right triceps injury. Rookie wide receiver Jerrell Jackson was waived/injured with a right quadriceps injury. Fullback Tyler Clutts was acquired in a trade with the Chicago Bears for cornerback Sherrick McManis.
Also released on Friday were tight end Logan Brock, defensive end Keith Browner, outside linebacker D.J. Bryant, nose tackle Hebron Fangupo, defensive end David Hunter, wide receiver Juaquin Iglesias, outside linebacker Delano Johnson, defensive end Mitch King, inside linebacker Shawn Loiseau, wide receiver Jeff Maehl, tackle Nathan Menkin, outside linebacker Rennie Moore, tight end Phillip Supernaw, center Cody Wallace and guard Cody White.
Nolan was the Texans' final cut to be announced, several hours after head coach Gary Kubiak listed the other names at a Friday-afternoon news conference. A three-year veteran, Nolan was the Texans' top backup safety in 2010 and 2011, appearing in 30 games with six starts and three interceptions. He was let go in favor of Quintin Demps and Shiloh Keo.
Quarterback John Beck made team as the Texans' third quarterback. The sixth-year veteran, who was 6-of-10 for 149 yards and a touchdown in the preseason finale, beat out Keenum, an undrafted rookie and fan favorite from the University of Houston. Beck, 31, has seven career starts and spent the last two seasons in a similar offense in Washington.
"I think John had an excellent camp," Kubiak said. "After what we went through last year, obviously it's a concern of mine going with two... I thought last night, (Beck) played exceptional. He gives us some security there. He knows our system."
After losing Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart to season-ending injuries in 2011, the Texans are considering trying to sign Keenum to their practice squad to give themselves even more security at the quarterback position.
"Obviously, we think a lot of Case and what he's done, and we've got to put a practice squad together," Kubiak said. "He's getting great consideration from that standpoint, so we're going to make sure we got enough guys knowing our system moving forward so we don't get caught like we did last year and having to scramble in such a tough time."
Grimes and Pleasant are also prime canddiates to make the practice squad. The Texans can sign up to eight players to their practice squad beginning Saturday at 11 a.m. CT after players who were released clear waivers.
Other notables to make the roster include Trindon Holliday as a kick returner, Andrew Gardner as the Texans' third tackle and Jesse Nading as the fourth outside linebacker. Brandon Harris, Alan Ball and Roc Carmichael all made the team, giving the Texans six cornerbacks.