The former 2020 fourth-rounder has been on the physically unable to perform list throughout training camp, and the Texans have had to look outside the organization for solutions, particularly with right tackle Tytus Howard working back from a fractured left hand.
General manager Nick Caserio told reporters Aug. 30 that they are working through the information as it relates to Heck.
“I think as we go, as we get more information, I think we’ll be able to make more of a determination about what their availability is going to be,” Caserio said. “And I’d say, even though they’re similar, each case is probably a little bit different. Tytus is definitely closer it appears. Charlie is probably a little bit further, so we’ll kind of just have to work through that.”
Here is a timeline over the next 12 weeks that encapsulates Heck and his stay on the PUP list.
For the first four weeks of the season, Heck would be required to sit out. However, Heck would not count against the Texans’ 53-man roster.
Starting Week 5, the Texans would have a five-week window open wherein they can decide to allow Heck to practice. Once Heck practices, that begins a 21-day window to decide when to place him on the active roster.
Heck returning against the Falcons in this capacity would be a longshot.
Within this seven-week window is when a decision would be made on Heck one way or the other, although leaning more towards a return.
The rematch against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 12 would be the furthest the Texans could stretch out Heck’s return.
If Heck never gets off the PUP list by Week 13, he has to stay on the list for the rest of the season.