Bill O’Brien: Matt Kalil is our starting left tackle

Josh Alper
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

Matt Kalil did not start at left tackle for the Texans on Saturday, but he will be in the lineup for Week One.

Roderick Johnson got the start against the Lions with Deshaun Watson at quarterback, which led to questions for head coach Bill O’Brien about the plans for a key spot on an offensive line that the Texans want to be better than the one they put on the field last year. O’Brien said after the game that Kalil “is the starting left tackle.”

Kalil had his foot stepped on during Wednesday’s practice and didn’t practice on Thursday, but O’Brien said that wasn’t the reason he sat out against Detroit.

“I didn’t want him to play,” O’Brien said, via the Houston Chronicle. “He’ll play next week. Just managing reps throughout the preseason, that’s all that is.”

Kalil didn’t play at all last year because of a knee injury and his play has been shaky when healthy in recent years, which has led some to question the Texans’ belief that he’ll be part of an upgraded blocking group this year. Barring a trade or other acquisition in the near future, it appears that O’Brien and company will take their chances.

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