Former Pitt center Jimmy Morrissey was signed to the active roster of the Houston Texans on Tuesday, ending a six-month stint with the Las Vegas Raiders. The move will position Morrissey as a depth player, with Texans starting center Justin Britt sidelined with a knee injury and backup Justin McCray in line to fill in for the time being.
Morrissey was selected by the Raiders in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL draft and impressed team officials enough to earn a spot on the Raiders practice squad. However, it did not appear he would be called up to the active roster in Las Vegas at any point in the near future, with Andre James and Nick Martin entrenched at the center position and the entirety of the Raiders interior line healthy.
In Houston, Morrissey will get a chance to back up McCray and serve as an insurance policy for the Texans in the event that Britt misses significant time with his knee injury, which kept him out of the team’s 31-3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. The knee injury saw Britt miss all three of the Texans’ practices last week, and Britt was not spotted at practice on Wednesday, according to multiple reports.
Morrissey was a walk-on at Pitt who ascended to a starting role during training camp in 2017. He would hold onto that role for the remainder of his college career, starting 47 of the 50 games Pitt played between 2017 and 2020, with the three missed contests coming due to an injury at the end of the 2018 season. The center would also earn All-ACC honors in each of his last three seasons with the Panthers and allowed just two sacks in his last two seasons. He then capped off his Pitt career by winning the Burlsworth Trophy, which goes to the nation’s top former walk-on.
The center’s first game as a member of the Texans will be a contest with the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Sunday. That game will feature two other Pitt alums, as James Conner will get snaps at running back for the Cardinals, and Andy Lee is in his fifth year as the team’s starting punter and his 18th in the NFL.