INDIANAPOLIS – Geron Christian Sr. knows it’s coming.
The Houston Texans’ new starting left offensive tackle is prepared for the fact that NFL defensive coordinators and pass rushers will test him out as the replacement for injured Pro Bowl left tackle Laremy Tunsil.
With Tunsil having undergone successful thumb surgery to repair a torn ligament and out four to six weeks, Christian is responsible for protecting rookie quarterback Davis Mills’ blind side.
That begins with him starting Sunday’s road game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.
A former Washington Football Team third-round draft pick from Louisville, Christian is leaning on Tunsil’s advice as he gets ready.
“Since being here, me and L.T. have built a pretty good relationship,” Christian said. “ At meetings and stuff, we sit together and just talk since we play the same position. We talk about whatever, regardless if it’s me or him. Just whatever it can be, the plays, asking what he will do, how he will approach, if he’s doing this or if he’s doing that, whatever it is. We’ve got a good relationship, so we pretty much have had a wide conversation about everything since I got here.”
Not having Tunsil, a Pro Bowl blocker, is another difficult adjustment for the Texans. Christian is a former starter who was acquired off waivers this spring.
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Christian has a 60.0 overall Pro Football Focus grade, including a respectable 76.9 pass blocking grade.
“When he’s in there, you don’t notice him,” Texans offensive coordinator Tim Kelly said. “As an offensive lineman, we all know that’s one of the highest compliments you can get.”
Christian is facing a challenging Colts front seven headlined by defensive tackle DeForest Buckner and linebacker Darius Leonard.
“They’re a real good d-line,” he said. “Just showing different fronts, they got a lot of movements and stuff. They kind of keep you on your toes. Just got to try to stay focused, stick to your technique and stuff and stay in front of them. (Buckner) definitely can be a problem. You’ve got to get your hands on him and just bring it, be ready.”
And Christian expects the Colts to test him out and right tackle Charlie Heck, the replacement for Marcus Cannon.
“Probably, I’m sure they will with me being in and obviously, we got Charlie who was just getting in last week, and a young quarterback,” Christian said. “I’m sure they will, but we’re pretty prepared. We’ve got a good game plan.”