Houston Texans: Matt Kalil is likely on track to start at left tackle

Houston Texans offensive tackle Matt Kalil (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Houston Texans offensive tackle Matt Kalil (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans are about two weeks into training camp and a potential starter has already emerged in Matt Kalil. Why? Let’s take a look at this more.

Houston Texans fans — I love this time of the year just as much as I do the season.  You know why?  It’s all about being able to follow the nuances of the team’s annual training camp.  These guys are getting tuned up and getting the workout that’s going to prepare them for battle once things get started next month.

I’m a lover of position battles and this season is definitely going to be a situation where you won’t be void of seeing plenty of them going on.

The NFL is highly-competitive as these players continue to get stronger, longer and faster than ever before and the competition is stiff to get one of those coveted 53 spots at the end of training camp, when the dust settles, of course.

Who is going to be the guy that will impress so much to get himself a roster spot this season?  I’m definitely looking forward being around to see how all of this plays out because I’d imagine there’s going to be one — possibly two — that are going to have this distinction after training camp.

The biggest competition at the moment is at the offensive line — they’re still regarded as among the worst in the league so significant improvements have to be made in order for this unit to start flourishing again.

It feels like an eternity since I’ve seen guys like Chris Myers, Eric Winston and Duane Brown dominate in terms of protecting the quarterback and it’s time this group of men to get back to that.

The Houston Texans have made significant investments to improve the offensive line with them drafting Tytus Howard in the 1st round and Max Scharping in the 2nd.  They also were able to successfully re-sign Seantrel Henderson to have him give it another go after his season was cut short just a few snaps in after sustaining an ankle injury Week 1 against the New England Patriots.

Nonetheless, the most peculiar signing of them all has been of tackle Matt Kalil.

The franchise signed Kalil to a one-year, $7.5 million deal back this spring and they’re placing a bet that although he has been riddled with injury as of late, he still can do his job at a high level, which is what the Houston Texans so desperately need.

Kalil missed 14 games back in 2016 with a hip injury and all of the 2018 season with a knee injury.  However, the fact that he started all 16 games back in 2017 is certainly the kicker that alludes to the Houston Texans thinking that they’ve caught lightning in a bottle.

His bout with injuries caused the Carolina Panthers to rip up his five-year, $55 million contract with his release from the team after just two seasons into the deal.

Bill O’Brien has been complimentary of Kalil all through camp so far and he’s been lined up with

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Howard, who has played guard on the left side with his counterpart.

With Kalil’s veteran status, it’s highly likely that he’s going to be the starting left tackle in Week 1 of this season.  I’m okay with that because Julie’n Davenport wasn’t getting it done thus far and he’ll still have time to grow some more as he goes into his third season of duty.

With Howard already looking good at guard, it’s tough to tell what the team’s plans will be for Senio Kelemete, who signed with the Houston Texans the last offseason to a three-year, $12 million deal.

He has been decent at the position and it’d be prudent to keep him around for depth — and continue to start him — unless Howard proves otherwise.

But we’ll get to that bridge when we cross it…

Next. Texans: Five things to watch for in the 2019 season. dark

Until then, we’ll enjoy what Kalil is doing, which is obviously a compelling story of a comeback.

Kalil, 29, was ranked 23rd among tackles in 2017 by Pro Football Focus with a satisfactory 69.9 pass block grade so the potential is there.

He also allowed just 46 pressures that included 31 QB hurries, eight QB hits and seven sacks.