Texans Training Camp Day 13: Deshaun Watson Back to Work + Observations

Patrick D. Starr

The Houston Texans ended another stretch of work of practices and are now scheduled for a day off before the Detroit Lions arrive for joint practices on Thursday. The Texans held practice inside the bubble at the Methodist Training Center.

The off-day comes at a good time for the Texans giving them a much-needed rest day to get quality work in against the Lions.

Here was the Texans day on Monday.  

Deshaun Watson Back to the Drawing Board

Deshaun Watson is without Keke Coutee now and using both Steven Mitchell Jr. and DeAndre Carter in the slot position for the time being. Vyncint Smith is filling in for DeAndre Hopkins who had a rest day. Watson has had moments of throwing the ball with a purpose, and he did some of his best work targeting Carter in the slot. Carter made an excellent reception coming across the field, making a stretching catch.

It hasn't been the same receivers every day, which is putting some stress on Watson, but he is making the most of his opportunities. Watson continues to make the right decisions, but some of the options he is throwing to have a chance of not being on the roster when week one arrives.

Watson has been doing most of his work with DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, Keke Coutee, Darren Fells, and Jordan Akins. With Jordan Thomas and DeAndre Carter healthy, they are now working back into the rotation. Also, with the recent injury to Coutee, Steven Mitchell Jr. is getting a closer look. While Tyron Johnson and Vyncint Smith have been getting reps with Watson too.

The cast of options are changing, but Watson keeps plugging away, trying to make the best of the ever-changing situation.

No Matt Kalil Today

Left tackle Matt Kalil had the day off after one of his worst practices on Sunday. The Texans used both Julién Davenport and Roderick Johnson in his place and gave them extended reps protecting Watson.

Davenport showed better than Johnson on the field, but most of that is due to him having more experience. The Texans have wanted to get a better look at Johnson to see if he can handle more at the position and he will have a great opportunity against the Lions.

The left tackle position is something to monitor closely with the rest of the offensive line picture becoming more evident.

Much Needed Return of Jordan Thomas

After nearly two weeks of missing camp, tight end Jordan Thomas returned to the field. Thomas had an excellent start to camp where he showed he could be a viable pass threat in the offense. Now with his extended absence, Thomas is going to have to get back into the swing of things and win back his reps from Jordan Akins and Jordan Thomas.

Update on Kahale Warring

The rookie tight end originally was reported to have had a hamstring issue. It appears that Warring sustained a concussion during the second day of joint practices with the Green Bay Packers. It was a strong couple of days of work last week for Warring, but his health is becoming a concern. A concussion is nothing to play around with but his amount of missed practices is a growing concern.

Will Fuller Back on the Field

During the second day of joint practices against the Packers Will Fuller was shut down in the middle of practice. The Texans are monitoring Fuller's right knee and making sure they do not push him too hard. Fuller is dealing with natural soreness that comes with a repaired knee that he spent rehabbing, but there is no apparent reason for concern. Fuller was back on the field for the offense and appeared like there were no issues with him running routes, with his speed, or catching the football.

Offensive Coordinator Tim Kelly and Running Back Coach Danny Barrett on Duke Johnson

Quick Hitters

  • DE J.J. Watt returned to the field after missing work with a groin issue sustained in Green Bay. Watt continued to do what he does best, rush the passer. Watt was able to get near Watson when he needed to which has been a common theme all camp.

  • OT Seantreal Henderson probably has the hardest job in camp, try and slow Watt. It is hard to really get a good feel for Henderson going against one of the best in the game. If there is one thing for sure, Henderson will be ready for the season due to the work Watt gives him day in and day out of camp.

  • WR Vyncint Smith dropped three passes today and for a player that is on the fringe of roster cuts. This is a day that will not help his day when decision time comes.

  • WR Steven Mitchell Jr. is getting a closer look at playing the slot wide receiver position with the Coutee injury. He is going to have to learn in a hurry. Due to primarily being an outside wide receiver option most of his career there is a learning curve for Mitchell. He did have a drop, and those are things that cannot happen for him.

  • WR DeAndre Carter is trying to get back into the offensive rotation and the slot role. He caught the ball well and currently looks like the best option for the position even after two days back on the field.

  • OLB Whitney Mercilus is continuing to be the opposite pass rusher of Watt. He just blew by Roderick Johnson in pass protection, and it would have been a sack of Watson. Mercilus slapped Johnson's hands off of him on the way to the quarterback, making it an easy play for the veteran.

  • At one point of practice, the Texans offense looked lost. Either a miss on the inside or miscommunications with reads, it wasn't pretty. After the Mercilus sack. ILB Zach Cunningham and S Justin Reid would have both had sacks from blitzing.

  • WR Tyron Johnson had solid route getting vertical and beating his man wear Watson dropped a nice pass to him in stride. Johnson continues to impress.

  • FB Cullen Gillaspia continues to make plays in the passing game. He made a nice catch in flats only to turn it upfield in a hurry into the end zone. Gillaspia has been causing linebackers matchup issues all of training camp.

  • CB Jermaine Kelly Jr. returned to the field for the first time since day one of camp. He had a day that one that was not the best. He had a busted coverage, beat on a route, and then trucked mid-route by Jordan Thomas like he wasn't there. It was not the return that many would have hoped for Kelly.

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