After a 3-day weekend, the Texans returned to practice late Monday morning at the Houston Methodist Training Center. They worked outside in preparation for the Week 1 opener at Baltimore. After practice, Head Coach DeMeco Ryans met with the media inside NRG Stadium, and then the team locker room was open to reporters following his press conference. Here are a few of the news items from Monday.
The Texans announced they'll have four team captains in 2023: quarterback C.J. Stroud, left tackle Laremy Tunsil and safeties Jimmie Ward and Jalen Pitre.
O-Line Injury Update
Ryans was asked about the offensive line and how it might line up in Week 1. Right tackle Tytus Young, who hurt his hand early in training camp, remains "day-to-day" according to Ryans. George Fant started the last two preseason games in his place.
At left guard and center, the team lost presumed starters Kenyon Green and Juice Scruggs to injuries in the final preseason game. But don't expect Ryans and company to cry about it.
"There are always injuries," Ryans said. "There are always things you have to be ready for and adapt to. That's just normal NFL football. It happens every week, and for us unfortunately, it's happened sooner. "
Left tackle Laremy Tunsil and right guard Shaq Mason are on track to start.
Michael Dieter started in New Orleans at left guard. He's currently a practice-squadder. Dieter, along with rookie Jarrett Patterson, newly-acquired linemen Josh Jones, Kendrick Green and Nick Broeker are all in the mix to fill the spots at left guard and center on Sunday. Dieter explained how the new additions are absorbing the offense.
"They're doing a really good job of getting everything memorized and working out the kinks and the little intricacies of our offense, which is which is exciting to see," Dieter said. "I've been just trying to help those guys out wherever I can."
1st Time? NBD...
It'll be the first regular season game Ryans has coached, and the first regular season start of Stroud's NFL career. Ryans isn't overly concerned about either, and Deepi Sidhu wrote more about that HERE.
Eye on the Ravens
In six trips to Baltimore (including the postseason), the Texans have never won at M&T Bank Stadium.
Executive Vice President/General Manager Nick Caserio said "it's one of the hardest places to play in the league". Ryans, meanwhile, explained how it's a bit tricky getting ready for this Ravens' squad.
"It's a lot that you can get into when you talk about preparing for his team," Ryans said. "How far do you want to go back to what the Ravens did? You have a new offensive coordinator. It's a lot, right? You can go down any path you would like. They've added a lot of explosive weapons on the offensive side at the receiver position to throw the ball more. But knowing the Ravens and their style, they want to run the ball. They want to be a physical football team. So there will be I think a healthy mix of both."
Safety Jimmie Ward, who fellow safety Jalen Pitre nicknamed an "Apex Predator", said defensively the Texans need to figure out a way to limit any damage quarterback Lamar Jackson does, and stand up to the Baltimore run game.
"It starts with Lamar at quarterback," Ward said. "Former MVP of the league. I know there's probably some new schemes going in. I don't know if they want him to sit in the pocket more and throw the ball. Everybody's been saying he has more control of the offense. But we just got to stop the run, make them one-dimensional and make them pass."
Jersey number changes
Several players were wearing new jersey numbers on Monday morning. Wide receiver Tank Dell went from 13 to 3. Cornerback Shaq Griffin is now 0. Tight end Dalton Schultz is wearing 86. For a complete look at the roster, click HERE.