The Houston Texans aren't trying to rush anything. Even with such a loaded haul of 2022 draft talent, the focus is on the future, even if that means sacrificing important offseason practice reps in the now for a few of the team's most important rookies.
Cornerback Derek Stingley Jr, offensive linemen Kenyon Green, and receiver John Metchie III are all dealing with their own set of injuries, with Metchie's return from a torn ACL still months away. All three have yet to fully participate this offseason, as mandatory minicamp comes to a close Thursday.
But Houston coach Lovie Smith provided a promising Tuesday update on Green and Stingley Jr., who are both still dealing with injuries they picked up during their final collegiate season.
“We expect them to be full speed, ready to go,” Smith said. “Both players have had off-season surgeries. We knew that. So, we had a plan. We wanted them to first come in, we evaluate, see exactly where they are. We don’t play tomorrow, so we’re going to take it slow with them.”
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Stingley Jr, the No. 3 overall pick out of LSU, has dealt with a foot injury that forced him to appear in just three games during his final season in Baton Rouge. Green has had a lingering knee as well, but Smith said he's liked the watching and listening process from the rookies so far this offseason.
“The mental part has been good,” said Smith. “Everybody is exactly where we thought they would be, talking about John Metchie, too, all the players that have had injuries.”
The focus is clear: the Texans are in no hurry to speed up the rebuilding process after a second-consecutive four-win season this past year. Now with a new head coach and a young roster loaded with potential, the start of training camp next month should be interesting, especially as Stingley, Green, and Metchie all work their way back.
“We come back in the fall, we’re going to be pretty much at 100% first day of training camp,” Smith said. “We’re excited about that.”