With Brown’s injury, Texans confident in Harris

With Brown’s injury, Texans confident in Harris
September 19, 2013, 9:00 am
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When the Texans re-signed veteran offensive tackle Ryan Harris to another one-year deal this offseason, it went virtually unnoticed.

But as the Texans prepare to play the Ravens in Week 3, that move might prove to be incredibly important.

All-Pro left tackle Duane Brown is dealing with a bad case of turf toe, which might keep him out of Sunday’s game. If he can’t play, Harris will start.

"I'm very comfortable with (Harris)," Brown said on Tuesday. "Ryan is a veteran. He's played in a lot of games, a lot of big games before. He's very capable."

Harris brings plenty of experience with him. He has started 36 games since entering the league in 2007 but hasn’t started more than two games in a season since 2010. He started two last season when right tackle Derek Newton was out.

Harris has predominantly been on the right side recently but as the Texans’ swing tackle, he knows both sides of the line and practices each. At left guard, he’ll protect the quarterback’s blind side.

“He's a perfect fit for that,” left guard Wade Smith said. “He's a smart guy, knows the offense.”

Last season, even when Harris didn’t start, he played. He often rotated with Newton at right tackle and got plenty of snaps. The Texans also drafted two tackles but Brennan Williams (third round) and David Quesseberry (sixth round) are both on the IR.

“We’ve got to go onto the next one, next man up,” quarterback Matt Schaub said. “We’ve got confidence in what Ryan can do and we’ll just have to play our game, and he’ll step in there and do a heck of a job for us.”

The left side of the line – Brown, Smith and center Chris Myers – has started all 16 games in each of the last two seasons.  

“Duane's gonna do everything that's possible to be able to play,” Smith said. “That's just how we are up front. If he's unable to go, we have full confidence in Ryan. That's just how we do things up front. Have a lot of confidence in Ryan, had a good camp. He came in the game in those four, five plays. He looked good. We expect him to do well if he has to go out there.”