Texans starting right tackle Derek Newton will miss the team's OTAs and minicamp and won't be back until training camp.
Newton, who started 14 games for the Texans in 2012, had surgery on his patellar tendon in his right knee in February. It was the same injury he dealt with all season and forced him to miss some games.
“Newton’s gonna miss the whole (spring) offseason,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said to the team's website. “We’ve got a great opportunity, I guess is the best way to put it, for a young player to come in and see if he can step out there and help us early. (Brennan Williams) is gonna get a great chance, and of course we get (David Quessenberry) in the sixth round.”
The Texans have three rounds of OTAs, starting on May 20. The last one finishes on June 6. There is also a mandatory minicamp from June 11-13.
Newton was taken in the seventh round of the 2011 draft and played minimally in 14 games as a rookie before being named the starter at right tackle. Last season, Newton played 67 percent of the team's offensive snaps.
With Newton sidelined, there will be a great chance for third-round draft pick Williams to win the starting job. After the Texans took Williams out of North Carolina, the team said he'd have a chance to compete for the starting job. With Newton missing time, the chance for that seems to get better.
Quessenberry, who the Texans took in the sixth round from San Jose State, will also be in the mix along with Andrew Gardner, who was a restricted free agent before the Texans re-signed him this offseason.
The Texans also re-signed veteran Ryan Harris to a one-year deal. Harris split reps (36 percent total) with Newton at right tackle last season, while Brandon Brooks and Ben Jones finished the season splitting reps at right guard.
“We played rookies on the right side the majority of the year,” Kubiak said. “That was a big growing situation for us as a football team. I thought Newt did some really good things; he’s gonna be a fine player. Unfortunately gets hurt late in the season and played hurt for us; giving him a lot of credit for that. We gotta get him back. It’s gonna be training camp before he’s healthy."