Tytus Howard

Texans RT Tytus Howard Seeking New Contract

The rebuilding Texans have plenty of room for improvement on both sides of the ball, but their tandem at offensive tackle could be something the team wishes to keep in place moving forward. That would mean new contracts for not only Laremy Tunsil, but Tytus Howard as well.

[RELATED: Tunsil Eyeing Market-Setting Extension]

The latter certainly does not have the acclaim of his blindside counterpart, but he may have done enough in 2022 to earn himself a long-term deal. The Texans exercised Howard’s fifth-year option last offseason, meaning that he is on the books for next year at a cost of $13.2MM. A multi-year pact keeping him in Houston well beyond that is his intention, however.

“Most likely this offseason, go ahead and get it done,” the 26-year-old said of contract talks, via Aaron Wilson of KPRC2“We haven’t started yet, but, hopefully, we can work toward getting something done. The sooner, the better. [It’s] a shared goal. I want to finish my career here.”

The Alabama State product had an up-and-down first three seasons to begin his career. He primarily played at his familiar right tackle spot in 2019 and 2020, a stretch during which he drew middling reviews in terms of PFF grade and dealt with multiple injuries. The following season, Houston moved him inside to left guard, something which appeared to signal the end of his time at tackle and his prospects of one day becoming a long-term fixture on the blindside.

After Tunsil was sidelined late in the campaign, however, Howard was moved over to LT to finish the season. His impressive play there likely influenced the Texans’ decision to pick up his option, and they confirmed this past summer that he would return to the right tackle spot for the 2022 season. He all-but exclusively played there, seeing time on the interior only to temporarily fill in for rookie left guard Kenyon Green.

Howard earned a career-high 67.9 PFF rating for the year, showcasing the potential he and Tunsil could have for the short- to medium-term future if they are retained. The Texans are currently projected to be in a far better place financially than most teams, so deals meeting Tunsil’s and Howard’s requests could be feasible. Whether or not the team is willing to do so will be an interesting subplot to their overall efforts made in the coming weeks and months to take a step forward in 2023.

NFL Injury Rumors: Week 17 Updates

Updates to injury questions heading into the Sunday slate of games:

  • Cardinals star receiver DeAndre Hopkins will miss this Sunday’s game in Atlanta with a knee injury, according to the team’s final injury report. The injury seemed to appear from nowhere late this week and, with the Cardinals eliminated from playoff contention, it would not be a surprise to see Hopkins sit for the remainder of the season. Quarterbacks David Blough and Trace McSorley will have to rely on Marquise Brown, Greg Dortch, A.J. Green, Robbie Anderson, Pharoh Cooper, and recently promoted Andre Baccellia in the meantime.
  • The Commanders will have to face Cleveland tomorrow without running back Antonio Gibson, according to the team’s official Twitter account. With Gibson out due to an ankle sprain, Washington will likely continue to rely heavily on rookie starter Brian Robinson. Veteran running back Jonathan Williams will likely find himself in an increased role tomorrow, as will elevated practice squad back Jaret Patterson.
  • Despite returning to practice this week, 49ers star receiver Deebo Samuel is unable to play this weekend against the Raiders, according to Matt Barrows of The Athletic. Rookie quarterback Brock Purdy will have at least one more week depending on the likes of Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings, Ray-Ray McCloud, tight end George Kittle, and running back Christian McCaffrey without Samuel. Head coach Kyle Shanahan indicated that there’s “a chance” Samuel will be able to return next week.
  • Buccaneers right tackle Tristan Wirfs reportedly aggravated his ankle injury last week against the Cardinals, but according to Jenna Laine of ESPN, Wirfs intends on playing regardless. Tampa Bay is also hoping to get starting left tackle Donovan Smith back for tomorrow’s game against the Panthers. If Smith does play, it will be the first time the two have appeared in a game together since a Week 12 loss to the Browns.
  • The Texans have confirmed that two starters are no longer in question to play this weekend as right tackle Tytus Howard and rookie left guard Kenyon Green are both expected to play against the Jaguars, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2. Howard had to clear concussion protocol in order to play this weekend and successfully did so. Green has missed Houston’s last two contests with an ankle injury but has reportedly improved considerably. Backup interior lineman Jimmy Morrissey was unable to clear concussion protocol and will be unable to play this Sunday.

Texans To Use Tytus Howard At Tackle

Tytus Howard has split his time between the tackle and guard positions in three Texans seasons. With the team picking up the 2019 first-rounder’s fifth-year option, despite that selection coming two GMs ago, Howard remains in the organization’s beyond-2022 plans.

Despite this Houston coaching staff praising the former first-rounder’s versatility earlier this offseason, new HC Lovie Smith said during an appearance on the Cris Collinsworth Podcast (via Sports Radio 610’s Brandon Scott) that Howard will be back at tackle in 2022.

The Texans used Howard as a 10-game guard starter to start the 2021 season, but he fared better replacing Laremy Tunsil at left tackle. In Howard’s four blindside starts during the season’s second half, Pro Football Focus gave him an 89.9 pass-blocking grade. He allowed just two pressures during that four-start span, one that likely contributed to Houston’s decision to pick up his fully guaranteed $13.2MM option for 2022. PFF viewed Howard as a below-average guard, where he spent much of the season during David Culley‘s year in charge.

Howard looks set to return to right tackle, with Tunsil going into his fourth year as the Texans’ left-side starter. Howard spent most of his rookie season at right tackle and was a full-timer at that post in 2020. Smith confirmed, not that there was much doubt here, first-rounder Kenyon Green will play guard as a rookie.

The then-Brian Gaine-led Texans chose Howard 23rd overall out of Alabama State in 2019. The Division I-FCS product still has some time to mold himself into a quality starter. The Texans ensured that by picking up his option. It will be interesting to see how he fares, if given a full season at tackle, on a line that has another building block in Green. Tunsil, Howard and Green represent the three Texans cornerstones up front, though Tunsil was loosely mentioned as a trade candidate before his March restructure. The team re-signed center Justin Britt and added longtime Jaguars starting guard A.J. Cann this offseason.

2023 NFL Fifth-Year Option Results

Monday marked the deadline for NFL clubs to officially pick up their options on 2019 first-rounders. Fifth-year option seasons are no longer just guaranteed for injury — they’re now fully guaranteed, which makes these decisions a little tougher for teams.

Nineteen players had their options exercised, a tick up from 14 last year. Here’s the full rundown:

1. QB Kyler Murray, Cardinals – Exercised ($29.7MM)
2. DE Nick Bosa, 49ers: Exercised ($17.9MM)
3. DE Quinnen Williams, Jets: Exercised ($11.5MM)
4. DE Clelin Ferrell, Raiders: Declined ($11.5MM)
5. LB Devin White, Buccaneers: Exercised ($11.7MM)
6. QB Daniel Jones, Giants: Declined ($22.4MM)
7. DE Josh Allen, Jaguars: Exercised ($11.5MM)
8. TE T.J. Hockenson, Lions: Exercised ($9.4MM)
9. DT Ed Oliver, Bills: Exercised ($10.8MM)
10. LB Devin Bush, Steelers: Declined ($10.9MM)
11. OT Jonah Williams, Bengals: Exercised ($12.6MM)
12. LB Rashan Gary, Packers: Exercised ($10.9MM)
13. DT Christian Wilkins, Dolphins: Exercised ($10.8MM)
14. G Chris Lindstrom, Falcons: Exercised ($13.2MM)
15. QB Dwayne Haskins:
16. DE Brian Burns, Panthers: Exercised ($16MM)
17. DT Dexter Lawrence, Giants: Exercised ($10.8MM)
18. C Garrett Bradbury, Vikings: Declined ($13.2MM)
19. DT Jeffery Simmons, Titans: Exercised ($10.8MM)
20. TE Noah Fant, Seahawks: Exercised ($6.9MM; originally drafted by Broncos)
21. S Darnell Savage, Packers: Exercised ($7.9MM)
22. OT Andre Dillard, Eagles: Declined ($12.6MM)
23. OT Tytus Howard, Texans: Exercised ($13.2MM)
24. RB Josh Jacobs, Raiders: Declined ($8MM)
25. WR Marquise Brown, Cardinals: ($13.4MM; originally drafted by Ravens)
26. DE Montez Sweat, Commanders: Exercised ($11.5MM)
27. S Johnathan Abram, Raiders: Declined ($7.9MM)
28. DE Jerry Tillery, Chargers: Declined ($11.5MM)
29. DE L.J. Collier, Seahawks: Declined ($11.5MM)
30. CB Deandre Baker — N/A (released by Giants)
31. OT Kaleb McGary, Falcons: Declined ($13.2MM)
32. WR N’Keal Harry, Patriots: Declined ($12.4MM)

Texans Trade CB Lonnie Johnson Jr. To Chiefs

Lonnie Johnson Jr.‘s stint in Houston has come to an end. According to Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus (on Twitter), the Texans have traded the cornerback to the Chiefs. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter), the Texans will receive a 2024 conditional seventh-round pick.

Johnson was a 2019 second-round pick by the Texans, but he failed to establish himself as a starter during his three years in Houston. The defensive back ultimately saw time in 44 games (19 starts) for the Texans, collecting 172 tackles. He seemed to take a step forward in 2021, as the 26-year-old finished with 55 tackles, three interceptions, and six passes defended.

The Texans weren’t done making moves today. Per Kyed (on Twitter), the Texans signed defensive Rasheem Green and waived/injured running back Scottie Phillips. Green, a 2018 fourth-round pick, spent his first four professional seasons with the Seahawks, including a 2021 campaign where he finished with a career-high 6.5 sacks in 17 games (16 starts). Phillips spent two years in Houston, collecting 38 yards from scrimmage.

The Texans have also added defensive end Mario Addison, per Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston (on Twitter). Addison is inking a two-year deal, according to Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com (on Twitter). Following a long stint with the Panthers that saw him collect 55 sacks in 111 games, Addison spent the past two seasons with the Bills, where he added another 12 sacks in 32 games. The lineman played under current Texans defensive line coach Jacques Cesaire in Buffalo.

Finally, the Texans picked up the fifth-year option on offensive lineman Tytus Howard (per Rapoport on Twitter). Howard has started all 37 of his appearances in the NFL, but he’s missed 12 total games through his first three seasons. Howard has shown plenty of versatility during his NFL career, spending time at both tackle and guard.

Latest On Texans OL Tytus Howard, Team’s OL Plans

Texans offensive lineman Tytus Howard, a 2019 first-round pick, spent the first two years of his career almost exclusively at right tackle. In 2021, he was shifted inside to left guard, and he played 11 games there, but he also suited up for four games at left tackle due to an injury to starting LT Laremy Tunsil. As Brooks Kubena of the Houston Chronicle writes, Howard’s role for the 2022 campaign remains unclear.

Per Pro Football Focus, Howard was much more effective at left tackle (73.75 pass-blocking grade) than left guard (47.7). However, former OC Tim Kelly and OL coach James Campen both praised Howard for his versatility and indicated he was improving as a guard, and new OL coach George Warhop concurs.

“I thought he did a nice job at guard,” Warhop said. “I mean, so to have that flexibility going into the season, to manage to get the five best on the field, I think that’s good for us.”

Assuming the Texans really do think Howard can be effective outside or on the interior, his versatility gives GM Nick Caserio a little more flexibility with his offseason strategies. Tunsil has been mentioned as a trade candidate, and Kubena confirms that the two-time Pro Bowler could be on the move, which would add more draft ammo to a stockpile that could become seriously impressive if Caserio is able to deal QB Deshaun Watson. Houston would then be able to slide Howard to LT — which was the intent when he was originally drafted — and would not necessarily have to use a high draft choice or FA dollars on an immediate Tunsil replacement.

On the other hand, as Kubena notes, Max Scharping and Justin McCray are the only interior linemen aside from Howard who started at least one game last year and who remain under contract through 2022. So depending on how the Texans’ offseason shakes out, the club may have no choice but to keep Howard at LG.

One way or another, Caserio will have to make a decision on Howard’s fifth-year option no later than May 2. If exercised, that option would lock in a $12.735MM fully-guaranteed salary for 2023, and while that sum would be more than reasonable for a starting-caliber LT, Howard’s small sample size at that position in the pros and his general lack of effectiveness at RT and LG seem to indicate that 2022 will serve as his contract year.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/4/22-1/5/22

Here are Tuesday and Wednesday’s activations from and placements on the reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: TE Jared Cook, LB Damon Lloyd (remains on IR)

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/23/21

We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list today. In some instances, players activated from the list remain on IR:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Laremy Tunsil To Undergo Thumb Surgery

The Texans will be without their top offensive lineman for the foreseeable future. Laremy Tunsil is slated to undergo thumb surgery Thursday, first-year Texans HC David Culley said.

Culley said Tunsil is expected to miss around four weeks, ESPN.com’s Sarah Barshop tweets. This points to an IR stay for the veteran left tackle. Tunsil has made the Pro Bowl in each of his two seasons in Houston. Tunsil suffered a full UCL tear in his thumb, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

While little was expected from the Texans this year, they played well against the Patriots in Week 5. Davis Mills enjoyed by far his best game, totaling 312 passing yards and three touchdown tosses. Tunsil’s injury stands to make the third-round QB pick’s development more difficult. The Texans face the Colts in Week 6. Their bye arrives in Week 10, so Tunsil returning the following week would make sense.

Houston has first-round talent Tytus Howard at guard for the time being, and Culley confirmed the third-year blocker will stay inside rather than move to left tackle to fill in for Tunsil. That is the plan for this week, at least. The Texans have Tunsil attached to a three-year, $66MM deal that runs through 2023.

Texans Shift Tytus Howard To LG

The Texans selected Tytus Howard in the first round of the 2019 draft, doing so with the thought that he might be the club’s long-term solution at left tackle. The pick was seen as something of a reach, and perhaps a panic move after the Eagles leapfrogged Houston to select Andre Dillard, who was the superior prospect. A few months later, the Texans swung a trade for LT Laremy Tunsil, and Howard opened his rookie season as the starting RT.

A torn meniscus ended Howard’s rookie campaign after just eight games, and last offseason was a difficult one for him, as he was recovering from the meniscus surgery along with a procedure to repair a broken finger. The lack of practices due to the pandemic also hurt; although he was entering his second season as a pro, he is an FCS (Alabama State) product who was always going to need a little extra time to reach his potential at the NFL level.

He still wound up starting 14 games at RT in 2020, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ 61st-best tackle out of 79 qualifiers. Aaron Wilson of Sports Talk 790 attributes that less-than-impressive ranking to a slow start engendered by the offseason problems and the fact that Howard had to consistently bail out former right guard Zach Fulton, who yielded 11 sacks last year. Nonetheless, the team is now moving Howard to the interior and will line him up at left guard, per Wilson.

Howard played one game at LG in 2019, and the team tried him out at several different positions during training camp this year. But he was deployed at left guard during last week’s preseason game against the Cowboys, and that’s where he will open the 2021 season. He has the size, strength, and mean streak to thrive on the inside, and being sandwiched between Tunsil on the left and new center Justin Britt on the right will certainly help.

2020 fourth-rounder Charlie Heck is expected to start the season at RT, but Howard is perfectly amenable to a move back to the outside. It sounds like Houston is keeping him on his toes in case that should be necessary.

“Oh, yeah, I think I can just go back out and [play RT] again,” Howard said. “I practice it every day, so they prepare me for something like that.”