It truly boggles the mind how well the Houston Texans offense has been doing when 60-80% of the anticipated starting offensive line has been on injured reserve for most of this young season.
If you’ve forgotten, and I wouldn’t blame you one bit if you had, the offensive line we were expecting this team to come out with looked something like this:
LT Laremy Tunsil
LG Kenyon Green
C Juice Scruggs
RG Shaq Mason
RT Tytus Howard
Green and Scruggs would’ve been question marks considering how young they are, but Tunsil, Mason, and Howard were expected to make this unit a strength of the team and possibly one of the best lines in the NFL.
But these are the Houston Texans and things are never supposed to go easy for them.
Tytus Howard gets injured in practice before the season, Tunsil, Green, and Scruggs all miss multiple games, to the point where the offensive line becomes Shaq Mason and the Expendables.
Here was last week’s offensive line in comparison:
LT Austin Deculus
LG Kendrick Green
C Jarrett Patterson
RG Shaq Mason
RT George Fant
Despite all that, and thanks to some clever offensive scheming and a fair amount of luck, the Expendables offensive line has managed to keep current OROY frontrunner C.J. Stroud upright.
The bad news is the Texans are sending one more lineman, Kendrick Green, to injured reserve. The good news is two of the starters are coming back and are practicing today; and arguably, they could be the two most important parts of the line.
With Tunsil and Howard set to return to anchor the offensive line, and Juice Scruggs due to come back in the next few weeks, we might finally get to see what this offense is capable of when HC DeMeco Ryans and OC Bobby Slowik no longer have to scheme around the offensive line and really open up the playbook for Stroud and the offense.
Get ready, this is gonna be fun.
...did I really just say that?