Charlie Heck part of Houston Texans squad in playoffs for first time since 2019

If you’re a professional football fan, the most exciting time of year is finally here – playoffs.

There’s several postseason constants – the San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills. There’s also a couple of party crashers – did someone say the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans?

The Texans are in the playoffs for the first time since 2019, largely behind the play of rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud. He appears to have finally broken the Ohio State quarterback curse, though Justin Fields made a case for that distinction, too.

Houston’s offensive line has largely stayed healthy, something several teams have been able to avoid.

One of the Texans’ constants has been starting right tackle Charlie Heck, the mammoth lineman who played his college ball at UNC.

Heck’s been a crucial part of blocking for a Texans’ offense among the league’s top half, filled with young playmakers like Stroud, Nico Collins, Noah Brown and Dameon Pierce. Houston averages 342.4 yards per game, 12th overall and tops in the AFC South.

Heck started 34 out of his final 35 games as a Tar Heel, splitting them between right and left tackle. His best campaign came in 2019, earning second-team All-ACC honors in a year when Carolina smacked Temple in the Military Bowl.

Heck’s next task might be his toughest, at least since being selected in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

On Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET in Houston, he’ll be dealing with a top-ranked Cleveland defense. This includes Za’Darius Smith and Defensive Player of the Year candidate Myles Garrett on the defensive line,

You can watch Heck and the Texans on NBC.

Follow us @TarHeelsWire on Twitter and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of North Carolina Tar Heels news, notes and opinions.

Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire