It has been a long off-season and fast-paced training camp but the Houston Texans first preseason game is here as they square off with the Green Bay Packers. With many of the web known players for the Texans already with their names on the 53-man roster. There are plenty of new faces on the roster than have plenty to prove during these preseason games.
With roster and practice squad spots open for players to take, here are names to pay attention to for the Texans preseason opener on Thursday Night.
Players To Watch vs the Green Bay Packers
In the secondary, the Houston Texans have some intriguing options to monitor and it starts with rookie cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr. and safety A.J. Moore.
Johnson missed Tuesday’s practice due to a couple of big hits he laid during Monday’s workout knocking out two Packers players. He will get plenty of work during the game, and it will be in a game setting. Johnson is a physical presence, but it will be an excellent opportunity for him to get some coverage looks in a game situation.
One player that has really turned the corner is Moore. He has solidified his spot not only on the roster as one of their top special teams player but in the safety group. Moore has shown the potential that he can be more than a depth player with the work he has put into this point. He has been all around the football during camp, and he could potentially be a defensive piece soon if he keeps developing at this rate.
As for the running back group, it has opened up with the exit of D’Onta Foreman. Rookie Damarea Crockett and Karan Higdon Jr. have benefited the most with the opportunities on the field.
A bigger back, Crockett has shown he can run the football with the purpose and has dropped off some long runs that would have resulted in touchdowns. He also put on a display that he can catch the football, making him an intriguing option.
As for Higdon, he is more of a third-down back that is faster and better in the open field. He can make defenders miss in open area and is a different type of back than Miller and Crockett.
It is a long shot that the Texans would keep both rookies but due to their different type of skill sets for the position. There is an outside chance they could keep the two along with Lamar Miller.
One of the most dynamic players during camp was rookie wide receiver Tyron Johnson and what he has been able to do. Johnson can play all three receiver spots in the Texans offense and proved he can be a vertical threat. Receivers can beat cornerbacks with 9-routes, but being precision routes runners is where Johnson is going have to show he can produce. Johnson is going to have to prove he can win one-on-one matchups on the outside. Along with working within the offense reading defenses on the fly. It is an essential stretch for Johnson if he wants to find his spot on the 53-man roster.
The Texans are looking for depth at inside linebacker, and special teams will play a role in the decision. Tyrell Adams and Xavier Woodson-Luster are the primary candidates to fill that role. Adams has an improved as a defender from last season understanding his run fits. While Woodson-Luster has put his athleticism on display in coverage showing he can run with running backs and tight ends.
It will be the first time that the Texans will get a real look at Charles Omenihu. The Texans are counting on Omenihu to be a rotational player in their defensive front, especially in the pass rush department. Omenihu wants to show he can hold up in the run, but the Texans have plenty of guys who can do that. For a rookie, the Texans need Omenihu to fill his role as a pass rusher to make an impact this season.
The Texans double dipped in the draft with offensive lineman Tytus Howard and Max Scharping in the NFL Draft. The Texans coaching staff has not waited to insert them into the starting offense, and the two have made the group better upfront. Their athleticism makes a difference upfront and allows them a little more room for error. They held their own in joint practices, and now it’s their time to solidify their starting roles in the offense.
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