The Texans have signed cornerback Stanford Routt and placed Brice McCain on the injured reserve/designated for return list.
Routt, an Austin native who played at the University of Houston, adds veteran depth to an injury-riddled secondary. Pro Bowl cornerback Johnathan Joseph has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, while Alan Ball sat out last Sunday with a sore foot. McCain suffered a season-ending foot injury in Week 13.
Routt (6-1, 195) ran the 40-yard dash in 4.27 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2005. It was the fastest electronic time ever recorded at the Combine until Chris Johnson ran a 4.24 in 2008.
"At this time of year, when you can add a player with his skill set this late, it's a rarity," Texans executive vice president of football operations/general manager Rick Smith said. "He's going to come in and provide some depth for us. Obviously, we've had some issues at the position from an injury standpoint, and hopefully he can come in and learn what we're doing and contribute."
Routt, 29, was a second-round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders in 2005. He signed a three-year, $31.5 million contract with the Raiders in 2011 but was released this offseason after starting 14 games and recording four interceptions. He signed a three-year, $19.6 million deal with the Chiefs in February but was released on Nov. 5. He started seven games for Kansas City this season and had two interceptions.
McCain, the Texans' nickel corner, has a chance to return if the Texans make the Super Bowl. The fourth-year pro out of Utah fractured his foot against the Titans on Sunday and had surgery with a screw inserted. He must sit out six weeks before returning to practice and an additional two weeks before returning to game action.