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Matt Kalil Update: Repeated Absence From Practice Has Been Injury-Related

He’s the Texans’ starting left tackle, according to Bill O’Brien.

NFL: AUG 03 Texans Training Camp
Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

When your Houston Texans signed Matt Kalil as a free agent five months ago, I would say the fan base was underwhelmed. Sure, Kalil had started at left tackle for the Vikings and Panthers in years past, but it had been a very long time since he was a productive NFL starter.

No matter. Surely the Texans would add competition via the 2019 NFL Draft. Houston did draft Tytus Howard in the first round the following month, but since then, Howard has primarily gotten reps at left guard, not left (or right) tackle. Julien Davenport has essentially been a non-factor at tackle through training camp and the preseason, which essentially meant that Matt Kalil was the Texans’ starting left tackle thanks to the two sweetest words in the English language.

And that’s not me projecting. Bill O’Brien has repeatedly declared that Kalil is his starting left tackle.

All this despite the fact that reports on Kalil’s performance at training camp have almost uniformly been negative. Observers have said the veteran lineman has frequently looked slow and often beaten like a drum. Even after Roderick Johnson looked good in action against the Lions last week, O’Brien has remained steadfast that Matt Kahil is Houston’s LT1.

But Kalil hasn’t set foot on the field for several days now. He didn’t play in the aforementioned exhibition game last weekend, and he hasn’t practiced in a week. Some speculated that, no matter what O’Brien said publicly, Kalil’s time in Houston would be ending in short order.

Not true, says O’Brien. They’re just practicing load management.

Kalil spoke with the media today, and he said his absence has been due to injury, not the end of his playing career. Roderick Johnson will again serve as Deshaun Watson’s chief blindside protector against Dallas on Saturday night, but Kalil remains O’Brien’s champion.

Are you buying this? Cast your vote in the poll and discuss below.


Will Matt Kalil be the Texans’ starting left tackle against the Saints on Monday Night Football on September 9th?

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