Texans moving veteran CB Kareem Jackson to safety

After starting more than 100 games over eight seasons at cornerback, Kareem Jackson is transitioning to a new position.

When veteran safety Andre Hal was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma earlier this month, the Texans looked to their surplus of cornerbacks for candidates to start opposite former Cardinals All-Pro Tyrann Mathieu.

Although Jackson can still moonlight at corner if necessary, he's now viewed primarily as a safety, coach Bill O'Brien said last Friday, via the Houston Chronicle.

Houston's first-round pick in the 2010 draft, Jackson found himself sliding down the depth chart with the offseason additions of Aaron Colvin and Johnson Bademosi to go with the re-signing of veteran Johnathan Joseph.

If he can hold off third-round rookie Justin Reid, Jackson figures to enter Week 1 as a starter alongside Mathieu, Joseph, Colvin and fourth-year cornerback Kevin Johnson in a revamped secondary.

Romeo Crennel's defense will enter training camp with a lot of question marks.

Will Jackson pull off a smooth transition? Will potential difference-makers such as Mathieu, edge rusher Whitney Mercilus and three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt recapture Pro Bowl form? Can nose tackle D.J. Reader and the linebacker tandem of Benardrick McKinney and Zach Cunningham form the backbone of a shut-down run defense?

If the answer to most of those questions is yes, Houston's defense will have a chance to match or even exceed the 2016 edition that finished the season ranked No. 1 for the first time in franchise history.

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