NEW ORLEANS – Texans right tackle Derek Newton will start over Rashad Butler against the Saints on Saturday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Newton, a second-year pro out of Arkansas State, and Butler, a seventh-year veteran, are competing for a starting job. Newton started last week's game against San Francisco. Butler started the preseason opener at Carolina.
Texans coach Gary Kubiak has said he would like to settle on a starter after tonight's game. A timeshare could be in store during the regular season.
"I have a pretty good feel for it right now, but I want to see how things go this week," Kubiak said on Wednesday. "It's an interesting battle because they're a little bit different players. If we started (the season) today, I might even play them both somehow, some way. I want to see how they respond going to New Orleans, the noise, the turf, the speed. I want to see how they play, so we'll see."
Newton was a 2011 seventh-round draft pick out of Arkansas State. He became the Texans' backup swing tackle as a rookie after Butler suffered a season-ending triceps injury three weeks into the season. Butler has been with the Texans since 2007. He started four games at left tackle for a suspended Duane Brown in 2010 and was the top backup to Brown and right tackle Eric Winston from 2009-11.
In 2008, the Texans rotated Brown with veteran tackle Ephraim Salaam during Brown's rookie season. Salaam relieved Brown every third series