Texans pass on perennial Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas

This is a photo of Earl Thomas III of the Baltimore Ravens NFL football team. This image reflects the Baltimore Ravens active roster as of Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (AP Photo)

Word began to spread Monday that the Texans had interest in signing seven-time Pro Bowl safety Early Thomas to replace injured A.J. Moore.

By Tuesday afternoon, that had all changed. But that wasn’t all that was different. The Texans also found themselves potentially in the middle of a COVID-19 exposure concerns from last weekend’s Tennessee Titans-Minnesota Vikings game.

The league shutdown the practice facilities of both the Titans and Vikings, putting their upcoming games in limbo. The Vikings are set to come into NRG Stadium to play the Texans on Sunday.

Texans coach and general manager Bill O’Brien implied Wednesday that the COVID-19 fallout and not any fallout from Thomas’s controversial exit from the Ravens last month was the reason the team ultimately decided against working out the star safety and others who were already in town for the workout.

FILE – In this Nov. 17, 2019, file photo, Baltimore Ravens free safety Earl Thomas waits for a play during the second half of the team’s NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Baltimore. The Baltimore Ravens have terminated the contract of the seven-time Pro Bowl safety, who got involved in a fight with a teammate Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, and did not attend practice Saturday, Aug. 22. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

“We said instead of having those guys holed up in a hotel, potentially to be there for several days – we didn’t know at the point,” O’Brien said. “It was better for us to just cancel the workouts. We had several workouts. Earl Thomas is a hell of a player. He’s had a great career.”

Thomas was voted out by the Ravens’ Leadership Council following a fight with a teammate in August. It was determined that his actions were considered detrimental and the former Seattle Seahawk was released from the Ravens after just one season.

The All Pro safety has been without a team since.

It has been reported that Thomas did meet with O’Brien and that it was determined he was not a good fit. O’Brien did not say whether or not he did meet with Thomas, but he seemed to leave the door open for possibly signing him later.

“We’ll see how it goes moving forward. But that’s really what it was,” O’Brien said. “It’s not anything other than that. We’ve got a lot of respect for Earl.”