Rookies Tytus Howard, Lonnie Johnson make impact in first start

Rookies Tytus Howard and Lonnie Johnson Jr. made an impact in their first NFL start during Sunday's 13-12 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

After being inactive in Week 1 with an injury, Howard started at left guard against the Jaguars. The Texans 2019 first-round draft pick was part of an offensive line that paved the way for 126 yards rushing and a two-yard touchdown run by Deshaun Watson in the fourth quarter.

“I felt like I went out against a good defensive line and competed and let them know that even though I’m like a rookie, that I can go out and compete at a high level with my guys,” Howard said. “I had some great teammates who stayed in my ear the whole game and kept me level.”

The Texans also made changes in the secondary after their 28-30 loss at New Orleans. With the release of Aaron Colvin, Johnson was named a starter in the secondary next to cornerbacks Johnathan Joseph and Bradley Roby. Johnson got his first official start on Sunday, after seeing action on special teams against the Saints on Sept. 9.

“Lonnie played a decent game,” head coach Bill O’Brien said. “There were a couple of things – like I said, we all have to work hard, and Lonnie will work hard to improve on certain things. For his first real action out there on defense, I thought he did some good things.”

Johnson, a second-round draft pick out of Kentucky, recorded his first three career total tackles (three solo) and a pass defensed in his first start.

“It was my first game, first start, so I just tried to make every play that came my way,” Johnson said.

The Texans improved to 1-1 on the season and will travel to Los Angeles to play the Chargers in Week 3. Sunday’s kickoff is set for 3:25 p.m. CT on CBS and SportsRadio 610.

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