Kenyon Green Back At Full Strength, In Mix For Texans’ LG Job

Offensive line injuries represented part of the reason the Texans burned through their eight IR activations last season, but multiple pieces were unable to return following injuries. Kenyon Green was among them.

Chosen 15th in the 2022 draft, Green worked as the Texans’ primary left guard starter as a rookie but did not play at all in 2023. A torn labrum sidelined the Texas A&M in August, and he underwent surgery. DeMeco Ryans confirmed this week Green is back at full strength.

I think that was Kenyon’s biggest thing,” Ryans said of Green’s health, via KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson. “Once he gets over that hurdle, now we can see how good of a football player Kenyon can actually be when he’s not battling and dealing with injuries. So, I’m excited of what’s ahead for Kenyon because he’s really put in the work to give himself a really good chance this year.

Green was never eligible to return from IR last season, having been placed on the injured list before Houston finalized its initial 53-man roster. This shut down Green for the season, denying a chance at a bounce-back effort from a disappointing rookie season. Pro Football Focus ranked Green as the worst guard regular in 2022, viewing him as particularly embattled in pass protection. Prior to the shoulder operation last year, Green had already undergone two knee surgeries, including an arthroscopic procedure during the 2023 offseason, since joining the Texans as part of the Deshaun Watson trade.

The Texans used the Watson first-rounders to trade down for Green, up for Will Anderson Jr. and then out of the 2024 first round (via the Vikings) to stockpile more draft capital. While Anderson showed immediate standout potential by winning Defensive Rookie of the Year acclaim, Green is already at a career crossroads. He is believed to be in better condition midway through his third Texans offseason program, but the past two years create questions about the former All-American’s viability as an NFL starter.

As Kenyon Green aims to avoid bust status, he is poised to match up against Kendrick Green and Jarrett Patterson in the primary competition for the Texans’ left guard post, Wilson notes. This would stand to move Juice Scruggs, who played all 439 of his rookie-year snaps at left guard, to center. The Texans lost just about every O-lineman to injury at some point last season. Scruggs, Patterson, Tytus Howard, Laremy Tunsil and Kendrick Green were also among them. Acquired on roster-cutdown day from the Steelers, Kendrick Green joined Kenyon Green in suffering a season-ending injury.

Each of Howard’s 2023 snaps came at left guard as well, but the 2019 first-rounder’s journey across the O-line appears pointed back to right tackle. The Texans drafting tackle Blake Fisher in Round 2, a year after extending Howard on an $18.7MM-per-year deal, adds depth and intrigue to Houston’s O-line. Howard went down with a season-ending knee injury in November. The Texans have durable right guard Shaq Mason going into his second season with the team, but left guard will be a place to monitor on Houston’s depth chart this offseason.

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