The Houston Texans are getting some help in the secondary. The team is activating cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. onto the 53-man roster, setting the stage for the former first-round pick's return, according to KPRC 2 Houston. To make room for Stingley on the roster, the team is releasing offensive tackle Austin Deculus.

Stingley has missed the past seven games and has been on injured reserve since Week 2 due to a hamstring injury he suffered during practice. The No. 3 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft is a big piece of how the Texans want to defend the pass. That said, the LSU product has struggled to stay on the field throughout his first couple of seasons as his rookie campaign was cut to just nine games last year due to a leg injury. 

When he's on the field, however, Stingley has lived up to that first-round billing, totaling five pass breakups, an interception, and 43 tackles as a rookie. That year, he also didn't allow a single touchdown, and opposing quarterbacks registered a 78.4 passer rating when targeting Stingley. In the two games he played this season, he allowed an 83.3 passer rating. 

His return comes at an ideal time for the Texans, who have won two of their last three games, including a thrilling showing in Week 9 where quarterback C.J. Stroud set a rookie record with 470 yards to go along with his five passing touchdowns. Stingley will now be reinserted into a secondary that will be tasked with slowing down Joe Burrow and the Bengals passing attack. Over the last month, Burrow has completed 75.8% of his passes, has 10 touchdowns to just two interceptions, and is averaging 283.4 passing yards per game. 

If Houston has any aspirations of pulling off the upset in Cincinnati, Stingley limiting the damage that Burrow can do through the air will be a big a key X-factor.