First off...whew. As great as it's been basking in that victory over Tennessee, a small part of me was just waiting for the other shoe, in the form of suspensions, to drop. Freaking fantastic to see that your Houston Texans will not be without the services of the best wide receiver on the planet. In a related story, freaking terrifying to see that your Houston Texans will not be without the services of quite possibly the shakiest return man in the NFL.
I've given some more thought to the idea of an offensive line without Chester Pitts, and I'm getting increasingly concerned about it. First and foremost, you have to feel for Pitts. Dude has never missed a start and now, on the cusp of free agency, he goes down and undergoes a procedure that isn't exactly conducive to bouncing back, much less bouncing back and getting big dollars on the free agent market. We've seen a version of this song before; remember Fred Weary and his broken leg? While Chester Pitts may not ever take the field as a Texan again, I'm going to be rooting for him to make it back from this injury somewhere.
In terms of how Pitts' absence affects the Texans on the field, I'm perturbed. Kasey Studdard has shown flashes of competence in the limited time he's seen the field, but you have to wonder if he's ready for the increased responsibility and wearing a bullseye for opposing defenses. And I say that as someone who absolutely loved the Studdard pick back in '07. I'm hopeful he steps in and the OL doesn't miss a beat, but Pitts is leaving fairly big shoes to fill. Pitts made it that much harder for defenses to blow up the left side of the line, and that's HUGE, considering Duane Brown isn't exactly a ten-year starter. It's going to be on Eric Winston, Chris Myers, Mike Brisiel and, most importantly, Alex Gibbs, to cover for Studdard during the transition. If Studdard can't get the job done, Antoine Caldwell or Chris White had better be ready to go.
From a long-term standpoint, Pitts' injury could feasibly benefit the Texans. The Texans get to see if Studdard can be a viable solution at guard, and presumably Caldwell should get some more work as well. The stars were aligning for the Texans to have a very hard decision to make about Pitts at the end of the season. Now, the decision, at least football-wise, would appear to be much easier. For the purpose of putting the best team out there this year, though? Little doubt the Texans suffered a sizable blow in Nashville a few days ago.