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Whitney Mercilus | Linebacker | #59

Team: Houston Texans
Age / DOB:  (27) / 7/21/1990
Ht / Wt:  6'4' / 260
College: Illinois
Drafted: 2012 / Rd. 1 (26) / HOU
Contract: view contract details

Latest News

Recent News

Texans OLB Whitney Mercilus said his torn pectoral muscle is back to "100 percent."
The injury limited Mercilus to just five games last season but he shouldn't have any restrictions heading into OTAs. The 27-year-old earned All-Pro recognition while grading out as PFF's No. 6 3-4 outside linebacker during his breakout 2016 campaign. With Mercilus and J.J. Watt back at full strength, Houston's front seven should be much-improved in 2018. Apr 17 - 1:50 PM

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Player News


Texans OLB Whitney Mercilus suffered a torn pectorals Sunday night against the Chiefs.

His season is over. Losing Mercilus is a huge blow to a defense which also lost J.J. Watt to what looks like a season-ending knee injury. With the disruptive duo sidelined, the Texans could struggle to get pressure.
Mon, Oct 9, 2017 09:10:00 AM

Texans OLB Whitney Mercilus suffered a chest injury in Week 5 against the Chiefs.

Mercilus was injured on the opening series and immediately ruled out. It's a concern to the Texans' pass rush with J.J. Watt also sidelined. Mercilus could be looking at a multi-week absence.
Sun, Oct 8, 2017 09:09:00 PM

Texans OLB Whitney Mercilus (back) was not on the final injury for Week 16 against the Bengals.

Mercilus is ready to roll after putting in a full practice on Friday. He leads the Texans with 5.5 sacks this year and also holds PFF's sixth-highest grade among 3-4 outside linebackers.
Fri, Dec 23, 2016 02:47:00 PM

Texans OLB Whitney Mercilus (back) has been downgraded to out for Week 15.

Mercilus missed practice the last two days after his back issue flared up. It's a pass rush downgrade but the Texans are still a streaming option against Jacksonville this week. Mercilus should only miss one game.
Sat, Dec 17, 2016 03:06:00 PM

Texans OLB Whitney Mercilus (back) is questionable for Week 15 against the Jaguars.

Mercilus was listed as limited Wednesday before sitting out Thursday's and Friday's sessions, suggesting he suffered the injury in practice. It is positive he was listed as questionable instead of being ruled out, but his status appears to be in real doubt. A disruptive force all year, Mercilus' absence would be a big one for Houston.
Fri, Dec 16, 2016 07:40:00 PM

Texans OLB Whitney Mercilus has been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 1.

Mercilus was a monster against the Bears, recording two sacks and a forced fumble. He has three-straight multi-sack games dating back to last season. Since last Week 6, Mercilus leads the league with 14 sacks over that time.
Wed, Sep 14, 2016 09:41:00 AM

Texans OLB Whitney Mercilus (hamstring) expects to be ready for training camp.

He sat out all of the offseason program with a hamstring issue. "I'm feeling good, starting to get healthy," Mercilus said. "I've been here for an extra two weeks since we've been out just rehabbing and things like that, just making sure I'm on pace to make it back for training camp." A 2012 first-rounder, Mercilus broke out with 12 sacks last season.
Sat, Jul 2, 2016 11:22:00 AM

Texans signed OLB Whitney Mercilus to a four-year, $26 million contract extension through 2019.

It contains $10.8 million guaranteed, including a $5.25 million signing bonus. The 26th overall pick in the 2012 draft, the Texans declined Mercilus' fifth-year team option and instead locked him up through his age-29 season. Mercilus has been a bit of a disappointment in the sack department, registering 18 sacks through 47 games, but he's coming off a great year against the run.
Mon, May 4, 2015 06:43:00 PM

Texans OLB Whitney Mercilus anticipates dropping into coverage more this season.

Mercilus has disappointed as a pass rusher through two NFL seasons, in 2013 grading out as Pro Football Focus' worst outside linebacker in the league. The Texans will turn to Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt as their primary pass rushers this year. "More drops into coverage instead of solely rushing, rushing, rushing," Mercilus said of his role under new DC Romeo Crennel. "Of course I love it. It’s definitely showing my versatility and being instinctive on the field."
Thu, Jul 17, 2014 10:13:00 AM

Despite posting a respectable seven sacks, Texans OLB Whitney Mercilus graded out as the league's worst 3-4 outside linebacker in 2013 at Pro Football Focus.

That's out of 42 qualifiers. Mercilus managed to pressure the quarterback 51 times, but a closer look at his play shows he has deficiencies as a pass rusher. He'll continue to man the weak side this season with Jadeveon Clowney on the strong side, but Mercilus will need to take a step forward in his third season.
Fri, May 16, 2014 02:50:00 PM

Texans 2012 first-round pick Whitney Mercilus will be the team's starting weak-side outside linebacker in his second year.

It's the primary pass-rushing position in Wade Phillips' defense. Trevardo Williams, Sam Montgomery, and Brooks Reed are competing on the other side. Rather than dropping into coverage, Mercilus' responsibility will be to harass quarterbacks. During his rookie season, Mercilus only made four starts but amassed six sacks and two forced fumbles. He's a breakout candidate.
Mon, May 20, 2013 03:58:00 PM

Texans GM Rick Smith anticipates an "exponential leap" for 2012 first-round pick Whitney Mercilus in year two.

With Connor Barwin a free agent and Brooks Reed potentially moving to inside linebacker, Mercilus is likely to be a starter. "He had 6.5 sacks in limited playtime," said Smith. "But when you look at him production per play, it’s up there. He adds explosiveness, he’s adds pass rush, he adds speed to our defense."
Fri, Feb 22, 2013 12:09:00 PM

Texans first-round pick Whitney Mercilus racked up two sacks in the team's Week 13 win over the Titans.

After opening the year as a reserve behind Brooks Reed (groin surgery), Mercilus is up to five sacks on the season. Mercilus also recovered a fumble against the Titans and could catch fire down the stretch playing behind LE J.J. Watt. Reed is expected to be sidelined for at least the next 2-3 regular season games.
Sun, Dec 2, 2012 09:10:00 PM

Texans DC Wade Phillips sees a similarity in how first-round OLB Whitney Mercilus' "light is coming on" to J.J. Watt's development last season.

"Whitney's earned more (playing) time," Phillips said, "so we're going to play him more." After learning from the sidelines early in the season, the No. 26 overall pick has racked up three sacks and two forced fumbles in the past two games.
Fri, Nov 9, 2012 10:20:00 AM

Depth Charts

Skill Players
DE1J.J. Watt
2Christian Covington
3Joel Heath
4Carlos Watkins
5Angelo Blackson
NT1D.J. Reader
2Brandon Dunn
3Darius Kilgo
ILB1Benardrick McKinney
2Zach Cunningham
3Dylan Cole
4Brian Peters
5Ben Heeney
OLB1Jadeveon Clowney
2Whitney Mercilus
3Brennan Scarlett
4Duke Ejiofor
5Ufomba Kamalu
CB1Aaron Colvin
2Johnathan Joseph
3Kevin Johnson
4Kareem Jackson
5Johnson Bademosi
FS1Andre Hal
2Justin Reid
3Corey Moore
4Treston Decoud
SS1Tyrann Mathieu
2Ibraheim Campbell
3Kurtis Drummond
P1Shane Lechler