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White, Caldwell battling for RG spot


With Mike Brisiel out with a season-ending left foot injury, Chris White and Antoine Caldwell will compete for the Texans' starting right guard position.

White is a fifth-year player in his third season with the Texans. He started two games at center in the preseason and shared snaps with left guard Kasey Studdard against the Cardinals.

Caldwell is a rookie out of Alabama who was drafted in the third round. He has been inactive for all five games this season.

"Right now, I think Chris will start the game (at Cincinnati), from an experience standpoint," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "But they're going to both play. They're going to share duties, and as we get going, whoever's playing the best football is going to probably settle down and be the guy."

In five seasons, White has played in 15 games, 14 with the Texans and one with the Packers. He's filled in for injured players at various spots on the line and he's taken snaps on special teams, but he's never had a chance to start.

"He's seen a lot of football and played in a lot of games, so it shouldn't be too big for Chris, the first time out," Kubiak said. "And it's an opportunity that Chris has never had in his career. If he goes out there and lights it up and plays his tail off, Chris has got a chance for a good, long career. That's what players ask for."

{QUOTE}Studdard, center Chris Myers and right tackle Eric Winston all became starters after filling in for injured players. White and Caldwell now have a chance to join their ranks.

"I think it's a great opportunity," Caldwell said. "I'm sorry what happened to Mike, but the coaches told me you've got to be ready to go. They always preach that you're one play away, and now that it's actually here, I'm going to be ready."

With Myers missing time during the preseason with an ankle injury, Caldwell worked at center for much of training camp. Since then, he has worked primarily at right guard.

"At first, things were kind of flying around everywhere," Caldwell said. "It took a while for things to settle down, but now I'm kind of settled in at the guard position and I just feel like I'm ready to go."

Though Caldwell hasn't played a regular season snap in the pros, he's mentally well-equipped to make a quick adjustment. Caldwell was a two-time captain at Alabama who played every offensive line position but left tackle. He also was the first Alabama football player to graduate in less than three years.

"He's a sharp kid," Kubiak said. "Like Kasey (Studdard), he's gotten better each week, so that's what we want to see from these guys.

"He's young; he's probably going to make some mistakes. He's probably going to go through exactly what Kasey's gone through here in his first three starts in this league. But like I told him on the field, it's what we drafted him for. We've got confidence in him, and it's an opportunity for him and Chris in this league that neither one of them have ever had."

Studdard moved into the starting lineup in Week 3 after Chester Pitts suffered a season-ending knee injury. Before then, he had played in five career games after being drafted out of Texas in 2007.

He can empathize with Caldwell, another young, inexperienced player who came from a major college program.

"He's going to get thrown to the wolves, but that's just what this league's about," Studdard said. "You've got to go out there and perform. He's a strong, good cat, and I can't wait to see him go out there and play."

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