Texans sign former Bengals, Vikings linebacker Hardy Nickerson

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Mark Lane
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The Houston Texans continue to add veteran talent to their roster.

According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans signed former Cincinnati Bengals and Minnesota Vikings linebacker Hardy Nickerson.

The Texans have a bevy of capable linebackers on the roster in Zach Cunningham, Christian Kirksey, Kevin Pierre-Louis, and Joe Thomas. Bringing in Nickerson continues to bolster the depth for the unit that will be transitioning to play the Tampa-2 scheme, which deploys a 4-3 front, away from the 3-4 scheme Houston has ran since 2011.

Nickerson played one season with the Vikings. In 2020, the former Bengals undrafted free agent collected 14 combined tackles, an interception, a pass breakup, and two forced fumbles in 14 games, one of which he started.

The 6-0, 235-pound linebacker from Illinois is the son of former four-time All-Pro linebacker Hardy Nickerson, who played in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Green Bay Packers from 1987-2002. Nickerson also was the linebackers coach for Lovie Smith with the Chicago Bears in 2007 and had similar jobs under Smith with the Buccaneers (2014-15) and the University of Illinois (2016-18).