After the Houston Texans' 30-6 win over Pittsburgh, Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard hinted that the offensive line would be getting a few starters back in the lineup for Week 5 at Atlanta.
They weren't wrong.
Howard, who started the season on IR, practiced for the first time this week since his hand injury in training camp. Tunsil, who had been limited in practice in recent weeks, had been inching closer to a return as well. On Friday, the Texans three-time Pro Bowl left tackle was a full participant in practice.
The Texans have dealt with multiple injuries on the offensive line this season and Howard's return offers a few options. Both Head Coach DeMeco Ryans and OC Bobby Slowik discussed putting "the best five" on the field, when asked about Howard's ability to play both positions.
"We've got multiple guys who can play multiple positions and we want to be able to put the best five out there on any given Sunday," Slowik said Thursday.
This week, LG Kendrick Green was placed on IR. Green replaced second-year OG Kenyon Green, also on IR. Howard started 15 games at right tackle last year and two at left guard. In 2021, he started 11 games at left guard and four at left tackle. In Sunday's game against the Falcons, Howard could start at right tackle, where George Fant has filled in successfully, or slide over to left guard.
"Yeah, Fant has done a really good job," Ryans said. "[I] thought he's been very consistent. He's gotten better. Week in and week out, he's gotten better, and I'm really pleased with what George has done. He's been one of the guys who has been a staple for us up front, him and Shaq [Mason], and they've done a really good job on the right side."
Howard and Tunsil will start in Sunday's matchup against the Falcons for a Texans offense that is ranked fourth in the NFL in passing offense through the first four weeks of the season under QB C.J. Stroud.
The Texans will kick off against Falcons from Mercedes-Benz Stadium at noon CT on FOX and Sports Radio 610.