South Notes: Texans, Titans, Lewan, Panthers

While it’s still unclear exactly how the Texans will configure their offensive line in 2019, the front five does appear to be rounding into form. At recent practices, Matt Kalil has been taking first-team reps at left tackle while rookie first-round pick Tytus Howard plays left guard, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Zach Fulton is filling in at center for the injured Nick Martin, but once Martin returns, Fulton will continue to battle second-rounder Max Scharping for time at right guard, and the veteran holds the edge in that battle, per Wilson. Seantrel Henderson, who hasn’t started more than one game in a season since 2015, is the top man at right tackle. Houston’s offensive line was one of the NFL’s worst in 2018, ranking 27th in adjusted line yards and dead last in adjusted sack rate, per Football Outsiders.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two South divisions:

  • After suffering a fractured and dislocated ankle last September, Titans tight end Delanie Walker is working his way back to full strength. Walker expects to be ready for Week 1 of the regular season, and in excellent news, he’s likely to play in Tennessee’s second preseason contest, tweets Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com. The 35-year-old posted at least 60 receptions and 800 yards in each season from 2014-17, and he’s likely to be a featured part of the Titans offense once again in 2019. Signed to a two-year, $17MM extension last summer, Walker is under contract through 2020.
  • Panthers defensive end Bryan Cox Jr. was cited on Wednesday for speeding, possession of marijuana, and possession of paraphernalia, reports Blaine Tolison of WSOC (Twitter link). In a statement, the Panthers said they are aware of the incident and are working to gather information (Twitter link via Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic). Cos has appeared in 18 games for Carolina over the past two years, playing roughly 200 snaps in each season. In his latest roster projection, David Newton of ESPN.com left Cox off the Panthers’ 53-man squad.
  • Titans offensive tackle Taylor Lewan will formally appeal his four-game suspension on August 22, per Paul Kuharsky of PaulKuharsky.com (Twitter link). Lewan was dealt a ban after violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, but he’s been adamant in his claims that he didn’t purposefully ingest a banned substance, and even took a polygraph test. However, as recent failed appeals by Golden Tate and Robert Quinn have shown, the NFL’s drug policy is extremely unforgiving.
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