Houston Texans offensive lineman Tytus Howard has suffered an injury to his left hand. He will reportedly not miss time and will play through it. How so?
The Houston Texans were successful in getting their first preseason win of the season by taking down the Detroit Lions 30-23. Although it’s nice to get the W, the more important thing is what this team looks like as a whole as they prepare for their 16-game battle that will last through the next four months.
There’s a lot to be said about how different this offense looks with former tight ends coach Tim Kelly — who was promoted to offensive coordinator — with him calling the plays. Bill O’Brien admonished that the majority of the play-calling rested on Kelly’s shoulders last night and it showed.
From the opening drive led by Deshaun Watson that was eventually converted to a touchdown by DeAndre Hopkins to the transitioning of the players that are fighting for a roster spot, the players looked a lot more comfortable in their spots last night.
In fact, the Houston Texans have averaged 28 points per game through their first two contests this preseason. To compare, the Houston Texans averaged a measly 16.8 points during this same period last season.
That’s a 45.7 percent increase in scoring production so obviously, we’re seeing the nuances of change in the works. We’ll have to watch at least a quarter of the season to see if Kelly’s strategy has made an impact overall but the numbers I’m seeing so far are promising.
But speaking of the offense, one of the most integral parts — the offensive line — has yet another injury to it. Joining Nick Martin and Greg Mancz, it has been confirmed that Tytus Howard has suffered a broken left hand.
Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reported earlier today that it’s an injury that he’ll be able to play through and should be available for Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints on the road.
Although that’s good news to hear, one has to wonder about his effectiveness with a broken hand with his ability to pass protect. There are going to be some things he won’t be able to do as he’ll be cautious and not re-injure himself again.
His explosiveness off the block will still be there but since his assignments know that his hand is
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broken, this may be an opportunity for them to exploit that weakness when he’s in the game.
Nonetheless, Howard has performed well when lined up as a guard but as a tackle, he still has work to do. He gave up a key sack on Joe Webb when he was lined up at tackle with Senio Kelemete as the guard. This was bound to happen but it goes to show that there will be a bit more of a learning curve at tackle then there will be at guard. However, to me, he looks like a guy that you could plug-and-play immediately if the situation warranted.
O’Brien has said that Matt Kalil is the starter at left tackle. One can also assume that Kelemete is the presumptive starter at guard because of his expertise and level of experience. But from what I’ve seen so far, I’d feel comfortable with Howard as a starter but I’d prefer for Mike Devlin to bring him along so that he’s not thrown to the wolves early.
Sometimes you can ruin guy’s career when you do that so it most important that Howard peaks at the right time when the keys are handed to him, likely when Kelemete’s deal is up after the 2020 season.
So with the latest development of Howard, I’d say his injury is a minor setback but he’s still on track to be a vital cog in the team’s offensive machine that has been rebuilt from the ground up.
But so far, the returns have been good from Tytus and I hope he can keep this up!
I’m ready for next week — go Houston Texans!