The left side of the Texans offensive line is slowly working its way back to 100-percent. In Sunday’s 23-20 overtime loss to Seattle, All-Pro left tackle Duane Brown was inactive and Pro Bowl guard Wade Smith was noticeably missing for a portion of the game.
Brown, who has not played in the last two games, remains day-to-day with a sprained toe suffered on September 15 against Tennessee.
“Duane is upbeat, feeling very good today,” head coach Gary Kubiak said Monday. “I think Duane is still a day-to-day process as we work to the weekend and so we’ll see. We’ll know more as we get to Wednesday. The more time we get with Duane, the better.”
Last Thursday Brown practiced with the team but suffered a setback as he was not able to practice again or play in Sunday’s 23-20 overtime loss to Seattle.
“He couldn’t play, bottom line,” Kubiak said. “He pushed himself to the limit. It’s not like we worked him out before the game or anything like that. He just couldn’t do it.”
Smith left Sunday’s game briefly and was replaced by Ben Jones. Kubiak wants Smith, who underwent a knee scope during training camp, to get some rest time during games as a precaution.
“We had a made a decision,” Kubiak said. “Wade’s coming off his knee and he was playing a ton of snaps. He played every snap going into this week and, looking at the long haul, we thought we needed to take a few snaps off of him, so we played Ben (Jones) a couple of series I think in the game. He took about 15-20 snaps off of Wade. Wade responded, he played very good in the game. He gives us everything he has, but we were a little concerned the wear and tear with what was going on with the knee coming back so quick, so that’s what we did.”
Smith’s quick recovery and return were “amazing” according to Kubiak who said the eleven-year veteran did not want to miss any playing time.
“A lot of snaps on his plate the first three weeks and we talked to him,” Kubiak said.
Not only is the left side of the OL not slowly working its way back to 100-percent, but neither is the right side.
It is evident that Duane Brown has suffered a very significant Turf Toe, and was thrown out there anyway to try to practice last week, and as I would have expected "suffered a setback" and is unlikely to be able to play Sunday. Wade Smith suffered what Kubiak reported as "a relatively minor knee sprain" the beginning of August. Then, all of a sudden we hear that he underwent a knee arthroscopy August 13. Then we hear that he "took a full load" in practice in ~ 3 1/2 weeks to play against San Diego 4 weeks post op. He was brought back too soon, and his play has shown it ever since. Derrick Newton, after his patella tendon rupture surgery was brought back in the preseason before he was ready, because they were more concerned that he would not have enough practice with the OL to be effective. Because of this philosophy, his knee is affecting and will continue to affect his play. Now, from what I'm hearing now, Brooks suffered what is likely to also be a Turf Toe, something that can explain his performance against the Seahawks.
In conclusion, I'm not really getting "the OL is slowly getting back to 100-percent" feeling.