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Texans’ Kenyon Green out for the season; what’s next?

Kenyon Green won’t suit up for the Houston Texans this season after suffering a shoulder injury against the New Orleans Saints.

Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

After a largely positive August in Houston Texans football, we now receive our first devastating development of the young season: Starting left guard Kenyon Green injured his shoulder in the preseason finale against the New Orleans Saints and will be out for the rest of 2023.

Just terrible news. Entering just his 2nd season in the NFL, former Texas A&M Aggie Kenyon Green had already shown why he was worth the 1st-round pick Nick Caserio used on him in the 2022 NFL Draft. As a rookie, Green started 14 games for the 2022 Texans, showing flashes of his run-blocking acumen that he developed while at College Station.

This isn’t to say Green hadn’t given spectators justifiable misgivings about his abilities - he continues to be one of the most polarizing players within the community - but his talent as a blocker was plain to see both against Cleveland at the end of last year and during the preseason this year. Regardless of how good you thought he was, this is a player whose development was to be a primary element in the growth of a very young and talented roster. Now, with an injury that will apparently require surgery, everything is put into question. Even though injuries are inevitable for every team, losing Green to injured reserve along with Michael Deiter getting cut on the same day is a huge loss to Houston’s rushing-offense.

Philadelphia Eagles v Houston Texans Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

In reaction to this loss, the Texans traded a 2025 6th-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for offensive lineman Kendrick Green, a 3rd-round selection of the 2021 NFL Draft from Illinois. Green spent his rookie year as the starting center for Pittsburgh, where he was unimpressive as a pass-blocker and mildly more successful as a run blocker. In 2022, Green moved to guard, where he lost his starting spot to Kevin Dotson and James Daniels, playing zero snaps the entire year. Kendrick Green put up good PFF scores 2019 and 2020 as a left guard for the Illinois Fighting Illini (78.9 and 88.0, respectively), so hope that he can plug into Kenyon Green’s place and succeed isn’t unfounded, but his failure to get any snaps in 2022 on a milquetoast Steelers’ line doesn’t ease the conscience.

Besides starting right guard Shaq Mason, the only other guard on Houston’s roster is rookie 6th-rounder Jarrett Patterson from Notre Dame. Even Patterson, while an adept left guard in his final year at Notre Dame, looked better at center during preseason action. Recently-acquired tackle Josh Jones spent much of his 2021 season in Arizona at right guard, but he’s more reliable on the bookends of the line instead of the interior. Suffice to say, Houston’s guard room is now shockingly thin, and will be relying on a completely new cast of players to fill up the space between star tackles Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

BRB community, what do you think of the news? Besides the trade for Kendrick Green, what should Ryans, Caserio & Co. do next? Where does Houston’s line stand now? Let us know in the comments!