Texans Training Camp Day 11: Duke Johnson Arrives in​ Houston + Observations

Patrick D. Starr

The Houston Texans started their second week of preseason preparation for Detroit Lions later next week. The Texans got back to work with a quick practice on Saturday at the Methodist Training Center in helmets with shirts and shorts practice.

The big story was the arrival of running back Duke Johnson after the Texans traded for him on Thursday.

Here was the Texans news, notes, observations from Saturday's practice.

Duke Johnson Arrives

The Texans welcomed a new face for the offense with the arrival of Duke Johnson. Johnson arrived on Friday to take his physical with team doctors to complete the paperwork to finalize the trade. Johnson had an extending meeting with head coach Bill O'Brien upon his arrival to go over the plan to get him healthy. More importantly, they discussed the vision for Johnson's role in the offense.

Johnson injured his hamstring in the third training camp practice with the Cleveland Browns, and now the Texans are taking over his rehab plan. Johnson has already been ruled out for the Detriot Lions preseason week by O'Brien, but there appears a chance for him to be ready for the following week against the Dallas Cowboys.

"Duke came in and passed his physical, signed the papers, so we've acquired Duke," O'Brien said of Johnson in his first statement on Johnson. "Duke's a first-, second-, third-down running back. He's played on special teams. Good in the running game, good in the passing game, good professional. Really excited to have him on board and just really look forward to working with him."

The Return of DeAndre Carter

It comes at the right time for the Texans, especially with the injury to Keke Coutee (ankle). Carter practiced for the first time since last season after missing all of OTAs, mandatory minicamp and the first three weeks of training camp.

Carter inserted into the offense at slot and on punt returns getting him back into the flow of things into a hurry. Working hard to get back to the field, Carter had been working overtime the past couple weeks to get to this point.

Carter and Stephen Mitchell Jr. will help at the slot position for the time being with Coutee out.

Extended Timelines

The Texans are not required to give out injury information until the regular season arrives. With the recent injuries to Keke Coutee (ankle), Greg Mancz (ankle), and A.J. McCarron (thumb) that occurred in Green Bay. There is a concern that their timetables of recovery will be pushing towards the regular season.

With the trio out for a while, Zach Fulton, DeAndre Carter and Joe Webb III become essential factors for the start of the Texans season. They are the immediate backups to the injured group. Fulton, Carter, and Webb will be getting plenty of snaps during the remainder of training camp while the others work their way back from injuries.

Joe Webb III Moves Into the Backup QB Role

While A.J. McCarron works his way back from his thumb injury on his throwing hand. It will be up to Joe Webb III to run the second-team offense. This situation is important for a few reasons.

There is a necessity to continue to get good looks at the second group of receivers like Stephen Mitchell Jr., Vyncint Smith, and Tyron Johnson. Webb has them the best reps on the field, which is essential for evaluation for the coaching staff.

With McCarron hurt, Webb has to start to prepare as he would be the primary back up for the season. Until McCarron returns, Webb will now concentrate on playing quarterback, and not the special teams work he has been doing the majority of training camp.

Unless the Texans have another plan up their sleeve, it appears they are going to wait for McCarron to get healthy and have Webb hold the spot until that point.

Rookie Running Back Damarea Crockett on His Preseason Debut

Quick Hitters

  • WR Deandre Hopkins continues to put on a clinic when he is on the field. Today, he was as dominant as ever making catch after catch. His best reception came on a one-handed snag in tight coverage from Aaron Colvin.

  • CB Bradley Roby continues to get comfortable in his role with the defense. After a solid week of work in Green Bay and productive preseason game, Roby brought it to the field today. He had a near interception of Watson in the red zone and later forced an errant pass intended for Hopkins in the corner of the endzone.

  • S Jahleel Addae was all around the football the entire day. He broke up two passes, one intended for Tyron Johnson and another for Dareen Fells. The one to Johnson saw Addae sitting in the back of the end zone and break on the ball to get a hand on the pass which would have been a touchdown. Against Fells, Addae was in man coverage, and he had a diving deflection to keep the completion from happening.

  • FB Cullen Gillaspia's pass-catching skills are not a surprise; what he does with the football is. Today and caught a pass and accelerated away from coverage for a sizeable gain.

  • DB Briean Boddy-Calhoun had an interception in red-zone work to shut down a Texans drive. He jumped a route into the middle of the field, and he did the rest with a solid play.

  • TE Kahale Warring was out once again from practice after missing the preseason opener. He worked in both joint practices but a hamstring injury kept him out for the start of training camp. Warring suffered another setback with his health which is not a good sign for the rookie.

  • DE J.J. Watt, CB Johnathan Joseph, NT D.J. Reader, WR Will Fuller, C Nick Martin, and TE Jordan Thomas did not practice today.

  • C Greg Mancz and WR Keke Coutee also did not practice and were not in attendance of practice.

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