With banged up O-line, depth proves key

With banged up O-line, depth proves key
October 5, 2013, 9:00 am
Share This Post

Duane Brown is ready to return to game action after missing two weeks. But the Texans will be missing another offensive lineman.

Brandon Brooks has a toe injury – he said it’s kind of like the injury Brown, who missed two weeks, had – and hasn’t practiced this week. He won’t play on Sunday.  

“The good thing about our depth is that we have knowledgeable depth,” said veteran swing tackle Ryan Harris. “We have guys who have been here and understand the system. You never want to see people go down and we’re a better team with everybody healthy but it’s the NFL, you’re going to have injuries.”

Harris was re-signed to a one-year deal this offseason to rejoin the Texans. The 28-year-old is a former starter but he said that’s not what drives him anymore. He claims he prepares as if he’s a starter every week. And he did a pretty good job spelling the All-Pro Brown for two weeks.

“Ryan did a great job stepping in,” Brown said. “Had some really stout competition up there in Baltimore and against Seattle. And I wasn't worried at all that he wouldn't go out there and perform well. He's been a very good player for a long time in this league so hats off to him.”

The Texans will need another big performance from a backup this weekend with Brooks out. Fellow second-year lineman Ben Jones will start.

Jones actually won the starting job from Antoine Caldwell as a rookie and eventually split snaps with Brooks. Coming into camp this year, however, Brooks was the new starting right guard and Jones was relegated to the backup guard and center.

“Anytime during the game, if they need to put me in there, or they need me to play the whole game, I want them to feel confident in me,” Jones said.

This will be Jones’ first start of the 2013 season after starting nine in 2012.

“Ben, since he got here, has been a very bright guy,” offensive coordinator Rick Dennison said. “He swings it inside and can handle all of the three (positions). He’s really progressed. I think, obviously, he might have a chance to play a little bit more. He’s worked on it and I think he’ll do fine. He’ll be in sync with the rest of the guys up front because he’s been practicing and played a lot last year.”

Against the Seahawks last week, Jones spelled Wade Smith for a series. If Smith needs to come out for a series in Sunday’s game, Cody White would be the next guard into the game. Smith has been a mentor of sorts for Jones since he entered the league.

“Wade's definitely a guy I leaned on,” Jones said. “He's a great guy because he really understands the game and I swear I asked him something about every play because I spent more time watching him on tape than I actually did myself because I wanted to learn what he did because he was doing it the right way and the way coach wanted it.”

Texans - Team News
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) is listed as probable for Week 8. Johnson practiced in full Friday after being limited early in the week. He'll continue to play through his ankle injury. Johnson is a mid-range WR2 for Sunday's game...
Oct 24 5:19PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) remained limited in Thursday's practice. Johnson doesn't need full practices at this stage of his career. He's a solid WR2 for Sunday's game against the Titans.
Oct 23 4:37PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) said he'd be surprised if he doesn't play in Sunday's game... Clowney hasn't played since tearing his meniscus in Week 1. He says he plans to "push through" the soreness that's still in his knee. If the training staff lets...
Oct 23 11:41AM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Ryan Fitzpatrick admitted he "didn't get it to Andre [Johnson] nearly enough early"... Johnson finished with 5-77-0 on nine targets, but had just one catch for four yards through the first three quarters. After the game, coach Bill O'Brien said that Johnson...
Oct 23 8:03AM Read More
Brian Cushing - LB
Texans ILB Brian Cushing will miss at least one week with a knee injury. It's a blow to an already vulnerable Houston run defense, and a nice upgrade to Bishop Sankey's Week 8 matchup. Justin Tuggle and Mike Mohamed figure to start at inside...
Oct 22 8:32PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) was limited in Wednesday's practice. The Texans are limiting Johnson's reps coming off Monday night's loss. He'll remain a WR2 for Week 8 against the Titans.
Oct 22 5:22PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster was limited in Wednesday's practice. The Texans listed Foster as "not injury related," but he missed practice time last week with a groin issue. Foster has a matchup with the Titans' No. 22 ranked run...
Oct 22 5:15PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
According to HoustonTexans.com, there's a "decent chance" Jadeveon Clowney (knee)... "He feels good," coach Bill O'Brien said Monday. "Well see how it goes this week in practice. We'll be able to make a determination pretty soon about whether...
Oct 21 3:58PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham caught two passes for 24 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers. Graham was targeted three times, but dropped the other. It can be considered one of Graham's better statistical games of the season, which obviously means he's nowhere near...
Oct 20 11:31PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson caught five passes for 77 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers on... Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins each saw a team-high nine targets. There was nothing special about Johnson's night. His biggest play was a 24-yard grab on a deep in route in...
Oct 20 11:25PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins caught six passes for 108 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers on... Hopkins and Andre Johnson each saw a team-high nine targets. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw it to whichever receiver was working against embattled Steelers CB Cortez Allen. ...
Oct 20 11:16PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue rushed for 14 yards on five carries and caught an 11-yard touchdown in the Texans'... Blue was the vulture on the opening-drive 11-yard score after Arian Foster managed 59 rushing yards to get the Texans near the goal line. Foster is an every-down back,...
Oct 20 11:09PM Read More
Ryan Fitzpatrick - QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 21-of-32 passes for 262 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception... Fitzpatrick played well for much of the first half, leading the Texans on three consecutive scoring drives to open the game. It was a train wreck thereafter. One play...
Oct 20 10:56PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster rushed for 102 yards on 20 carries in the Texans' 30-23, Week 7 loss to the... Foster got off to a blazing start, rushing for 59 yards on the Texans' 94-yard opening touchdown drive, but was vultured by Alfred Blue for the 11-yard touchdown catch to...
Oct 20 10:47PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is inactive for Monday night's Week 7 game against the Steelers. Clowney's lateral agility wasn't where the Texans wanted it to be in pre-game warmups. He's been out since undergoing knee surgery after Week 1. Whitney Mercilus is...
Oct 20 6:09PM Read More

More Team Talk