Xavier Su'a-Filo's had a good couple of weeks.
He's started in the last two victories, and played every offensive snap at left guard.
In doing so, he's helped limit the likes of Cincinnati's Geno Atkins and New York's Leonard Williams and Muhammed Wilkerson. Su'a-Filo's come a long way, considering he was inactive in four games this season, and didn't play in Week 8 despite being active.
"Just really coming into his own," left tackle Duane Brown said of the second-year lineman. "Playing with a lot of confidence. Each week he's gotten better. He's had some tough tests."
According to head coach Bill O'Brien, it's all been a matter of good health for the former UCLA Bruin.
"He's in better shape," O'Brien said. "I would say that his calf feels better, which I would say was due to him coming back out of shape. I think he's worked hard to get back in shape. I don't think it's been easy on him."
The Texans were able to pound out 123 rushing yards last Sunday against a Jets defense that had allowed an NFL-best average of just over 88 yards per game. Su'a-Filo was a key component in that, and O'Brien wants to see Su'a-Filo build on it.
"I think he's really earned the right to be in there," O'Brien said. "I thought he played a really good solid football game against the Jets. I really want to see him improve on that. Be more consistent. Play at a high level. Because I believe in the kid, and I just want to see him build on that."
Su'a-Filo and the Texans host the Saints on Sunday at NRG Stadium. Kickoff is at noon CT.
The Houston Texans roster in photos.