Hard Knocks Episode 4 Recap


Hard Knocks had its penultimate episode on Tuesday. While Game of Thrones has been telling us that winter is coming, on Hard Knocks it’s the cuts that are on their way. Episode four is usually when teams start trimming the fat to get them to their 75-man roster, and the Houston Texans are no exception.

The biggest surprise of this week’s episode is that it wasn’t all about J.J. Watt. In previous weeks we saw his house, how he makes plays on the practice field, how he trains and even where he takes a nap. Seriously, it showed him sleeping. We barely saw him this week, which is good because there are other personalities to showcase, mainly rookie wide receiver Uzoma “E.Z.” Nwachukwu.

They showcase E.Z. fishing with his buddy and former college teammate wide receiver Travis Labhart. The duo fished lakeside and even took a few tries on the rope swing. It turns out E.Z. is afraid of fish. Labhart’s girlfriend (wife?) catches one and shows it to him, but E.Z. runs away. I don’t blame you, E.Z. Fish out of water are gross.

On a more serious note, it’s revealed that offensive tackle David Quessenberry is currently battling cancer. He is still taking treatment, but is thankfully in remission. Quessenberry still takes the field for practice, but it doesn’t seem like he has been cleared for full play yet. Texans owner Bob McNair addresses the team and says David will be return better than ever.

In a surprise cameo, New York Giants wide receiver and Madden NFL 16 cover athlete Odell Beckham Jr. makes an on-camera appearance to play an online game of Madden against cornerback Charles James II. Naturally James picks the Texans, while Beckham Jr. picks his Giants. The two play a close game, but Beckham Jr. edges him out with a big play at the end. The two share stories about their camp, and hopes for the season before signing off.

Vince Wilfork cracks up the team with this country getup

Vince Wilfork fills the comedy role this week by showing up to a practice in overall shorts, cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. The team loses it when they see him, and it’d be hard not to. Coach O’Brien can’t even contain himself. Wilfork and Watt appear to have a blooming friendship, as the two crack jokes to one another on the sidelines of practice.

Preseason marches on as the Texans face the Saints. Charles James II is the star of the game this week, making big plays on defense and offense. O’Brien puts in James II as a running back late in the game, and breaks a run for a 73-yard td that is unfortunately called back due to a holding call. We could see him on the field in that RB role, if Arian Foster doesn’t make a speedy recovery. Even with the penalty, James is still rewarded the game ball.

The last ten minutes of this week’s Hard Knocks are reserved for cuts. Coach O’Brien meets separately with offensive tackle Aaron Adams, wide receiver Alan Bonner, guard Cody White and E.Z.’s buddy Travis Labhart to give them the bad news.

Next week is the finale of this year’s Hard Knocks. It always does its job of amping fans up for the pending season.