Skip to main content

Did Injuries Impact Texans' Season Opener vs. Ravens?

The Houston Texans dropped their season opener to the Baltimore Ravens. But how much did injuries impact the Texans ability to record their first win?

Coach DeMeco Ryans stated ahead of the Houston Texans' Week 1 contest against the Baltimore Ravens that "injuries happen all the time in football." The Texans went into M&T Bank Stadium without several prominent players. But following Houston's 25-9 loss, the injuries continue to pile. 

"It happens every week, and for us, unfortunately, it’s happened sooner, before the start of the season," Ryans said. "It’s something we have to deal with and we’re not whining about it, we’re not complaining. We’re going to push through. We’re all professionals, and that’s what guys have to go play football.”

The Texans sustained a handful of injuries against the Ravens. Jalen Pitre was the most agonizing loss, given that a bruised lung sent the second-year safety to a local hospital Sunday afternoon.

He sustained the injury after quarterback Lamar Jackson inadvertently kicked him in the chest late in the second quarter. Pitre will make a full recovery but will remain in the hospital overnight for observations. NFL Network was the first to report.

Pitre played a major role in the defense's exceptional start. The Texans held the Ravens to 53 passing yards and seven points in the first half. But without Pitre's services, Houston's defense declined. 

The Texans played the second half with a defensive backfield that did not feature starting safeties Pitre or Jimmy Ward. 

Jackson was able to exploit Houston's weakened secondary during the second half with 102 yards in passing. Ward was inactive for the season opener due to an ongoing hamstring issue.

Injuries hindered the production of the defense. But the Texans had their most significant problem with their depleted offensive line.


Early in the fourth quarter, George Fant sustained an apparent shoulder injury and did not return. He started at right tackle after the Texans assigned Tytus Howard to injured reserve Wednesday afternoon.

With Fant out, the Texans placed Michael Deiter at right tackle. And on his first snap, Deiter allowed Ravens' nose tackle Michael Pierce to register a sack-fumble on quarterback C.J. Stroud.

The lone turnover the Texans committed was one of a handful of mishaps caused by a wounded offensive line.

The impaired offensive line led to Stroud playing under an abundance of pressure while being sacked five times. Ryans had no immediate answer to the Texans' offensive line struggles, but it's evident that injuries played the primary role in its horrid performance.

"We’ll continue to shuffle and see what’s the best group that we have," Ryans said. "We’ll put the best group out that we have available. We moved all those guys around a lot. There have been a lot of moving pieces up front. Multiple guys have had to play multiple positions, so that’s been our way of handling it up front."

With the latest injury to Fant, the Texans have lost five offensive linemen since Day 7 of training camp. 

Center Scott Quessenberry was the first offensive lineman to go down with an injury. He tore his ACL and MCL on Aug. 3. Following Howard's hand injury two days later, the Texans lost Juice Scruggs (hamstring) and Kenyon Green (shoulder) before the start of the season.

But despite the injuries the Texans have faced, Ryans did not credit Houston's 0-1 start to the number of players out against the Ravens. 

Ryans said before the Texans' season opener that adapting was the best way to handle injuries. Four days following his statement, Ryans believes his players made it easy for the Ravens.

The Texans received nine penalties in the loss, which resulted in 88 yards for the Ravens.

"Just overall offensively, we have to have a clean operation," Ryans said. "It wasn’t clean enough on the offense. We wanted to have a clean procedure. It wasn’t, so we have things to clean up, things to fix, and a lot to learn from out of this game."