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Texans' Laremy Tunsil making progress in return from COVID-19

The Pro Bowl tackle continues to work on his conditioning.

HOUSTON -- Laremy Tunsil is in catch-up mode after missing weeks of practice when he tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the Houston Texans' preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers.

Now, the All-Pro left offensive tackle is preparing for the Texans' season-opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars after being activated last week from the reserve-COVID-19 list.

READ MORE: Texans Season Preview: There is a Blueprint

Tunsil has made steady progress in his conditioning and is expected to start against the Jaguars with no limitations.

Though Tunsil is slated to return, Texans coach David Culley acknowledged again that the time missed has impacted the All-Pro tackle.

Tunsil did move well during a Monday walkthrough during the portion that was open to reporters and is expected to be fine. Tunsil didn't experience major symptoms when he tested positive for COVID-19, according to league sources.

It's just a matter of his staying power during game conditions that's of concern to Culley.

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“I am hoping that his stamina is a lot better," Culley said. "Obviously, he came off the COVID list, he’s been practicing with us all last week and I expect him to be better for us this week and hopefully he will be ready to go.”

The return of arguably the Texans' best player regardless was especially welcoming to the player whose blindside he'll protect: quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

Taylor stayed in touch with Tunsil during his illness.

"It was good to see him come into the locker room, just his presence amongst the guys means a lot," Taylor said prior to Tunsil being activated. "I know the offensive linemen and just the rest of the team have the utmost respect for him, and just happy to have him back. I know he's eager to get back on the field, and we need him to be ready for Week One and excited to see him back in the huddle.”

Behind the scenes, Tunsil has been helping newcomers, including veteran right tackle Marcus Cannon, who may need to step in at the position with starting right tackle Charlie Heck now on the reserve-COVID-19 list.

Cannon characterized Tunsil's help as instrumental to his assimilation to the offense.

"A lot," Cannon said. "He’s kind of a quiet guy, but all of our offensive line, I had to lean on them a lot because they went through this whole training camp. Every single day they’re doing stuff. When we get out on the field and we do offensive line drills, he’ll come up and give me pointers. I’ll ask him questions, but everybody, the whole offensive line, has been great. We just try to work together."

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