The Houston Texans will most likely be without a much needed offensive lineman on Sunday Night Football against the New England Patriots.
The offensive line of the Houston Texans has been good-and-bad during the 2019 NFL season. Looking at Friday’s injury report, that was one of the bad moments, as rookie right tackle Tytus Howard was listed as doubtful for the Week 13 Sunday Night Football game against the New England Patriots.
Howard was listed on the Friday injury report with a knee injury, as he’s been limited in practice all week. As of Friday, Howard is the only offensive lineman listed on the injury report before the Week 13 game for the Texans.
Going into the Sunday Night Football game against the Patriots, Howard is ranked 58th in offensive snaps played with 488 according to Pro Football Focus. He also has five penalties this season, and has allowed just two sacks as a rookie. PFF also has Howard graded at 59.4 in the eight games he’s played in this season.
Not having Howard against the 10-1 Patriots this Sunday night will be a difference maker for the 7-4 Texans, especially against a Patriots defense which is first in points allowed (10.6), and second in yards per game allowed (256.4). The Patriots are also second is passing yards allowed (158.0) and ninth in rushing yards allowed (98.4), meaning they are a very good defense.
Patrick D. Starr of Sports Illustrated wrote the following about Howard in a recent report this week:
"“Howard suffered a partially torn right MCL and has been battling through his knee injury the past two weeks since returning to the field.”"
For the Texans to have success against New England they’ll need to be able to run the football first and foremost, that is no secret. To be honest, not having Howard in this primetime game, rushing the football will be a much tougher task for the Texans, and that will change the offense in a big way.
The Texans will have their share of issues in this upcoming game against the Patriots, but they still need to prove they are a team to fear within the conference.
The level of competition brought on by facing New England is needed because the Texans need to know if they are able to play with the best teams in the AFC, especially as they fight for the top spot in the AFC South this late in the season.
Though not having Howard in the lineup with his doubtful listing on the injury report does cause much concern, the Texans must be able to replace him somehow in the lineup for Week 13. If Houston doesn’t replace Howard well enough, it will be a long night against the Patriots’ defense, which is one of the best in the league.