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Texans Coach David Culley Explains O-Line Shakeup

After playing inside all season, Tytus Howard moved to the edge in a loss to Jets

HOUSTON -- Barring a career-ending injury or a departure from Houston,  Texans offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil figures to remain an institution on the left side of the line when healthy. On Sunday, however, the team got a glimpse of what Tytus Howard could do in that role. 

Houston announced prior to playing the New York Jets on Sunday that Howard would make his first career start at left tackle. Overall, he looked to be one of the more consistent players on the offensive line in a 21-14 loss at home. 

"We felt like that would be the best matchup for us this week with who they were playing at the end," Texans coach David Culley said postgame. "We felt like Tytus would be better outside than inside." 

Drafted No. 23 overall in 2019, Howard was a staple at right tackle under the direction of former boss Bill O'Brien for two seasons. This year, Culley and offensive coordinator Tim Kelly elected to move him inside to guard, allowing veteran Marcus Cannon, and later second-year pro Charlie Heck, to play on the edge. 

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Both tackles currently have been on the injured reserve for the past month. Cannon suffered a back injury Week 4 against the Buffalo Bills. Tunsil had surgery on a torn UCL in his left hand the following week against the Patriots.

Howard allowed three pressures, but was not responsible for one of the five sacks allowed against the Jets' pass rush. Culley said postgame that the team will continue to look at the film and decide if the former Alabama State left tackle will remain at the position until Tunsil's return. 

"It depends on the matchups we've got, and once we get some of our guys back, we'll be able to keep him inside," Culley said. "Right now, we feel like he gives us the best matchup outside to play tackle." 

The Texans will remain at NRG Stadium next Sunday to take on AFC South rival Indianapolis.