Texans Place RT Tytus Howard On IR

Tytus Howard appeared to be nearing a return to full health which would have allowed him to miss minimal game time. Instead, he will now be shut down for at least the first month of the season.

The Texans announced on Wednesday that their right tackle starter has been placed on injured reserve, a move which guarantees a four-week absence. The news comes as a surprise considering the progress Howard had been making; he was expected to miss the regular season opener, but not much (if any) time beyond that while recovering from surgery on a broken hand.

Howard, 27, underwent the procedure on August 7, and was given a four-to-six week return timetable. That seemed to leave the door open to a potential Week 1 return (or one taking place shortly thereafter), but the team will proceed with caution. The Texans signed Howard to a three-year, $56MM extension not long before the injury, confirming that he will be mainstay on the team’s O-line for the foreseeable future.

That deal was one of many Houston worked out over the course of the offseason aimed at ensuring stability at the tackle spots and boosting the offensive front as a whole. The unit suffered a major blow with 2022 first-round guard Kenyon Green being shut down for the season with a shoulder injury, though. Howard’s absence through September will leave the Texans particularly shorthanded along the O-line.

The team will have an experienced fill-in option, however. George Fant, who was signed in late July, will operate as a starter at the RT spot. Fant signed a one-year deal worth up to $4MM, and he will now have the opportunity to prove his worth over an extended stretch. The 31-year-old has 60 starts to his name, including 36 from his three-year Jets stint which preceded his Texans signing. Fant will join trade acquisition Josh Jones as a backup thrust into first-team duties when Houston begins the campaign in Baltimore on Sunday.

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