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DeMeco Ryans pleased with Texans OL Kenyon Green’s offseason progress

The best ability is availability, something Kenyon Green hasn’t been graced with since joining the Houston Texans in 2022.

Green, a two-time All-American at Texas A&M and former first-round pick, was limited to 11 games during his rookie season and produced mixed results. A year later, his season was over before it began as he would undergo shoulder surgery following the preseason finale.

Year 3 development is essential for Green if he plans to be a part of Houston’s long-term outlook. Little is guaranteed in terms of his status entering June, but there’s a noticeable difference in Green after spending a year on the injured reserved.

“First off credit to him for the work that he has done,” Texans coach DeMeco Ryans said Wedensday following minicamp. “He has changed his body, he is looking good, looking lean. He is able to move better, and I see a more athletic guy. I see a guy that has actually been able to stay on the field and I think that has been the main thing for Kenyon and just availability.

“The work that he has done in the offseason, he has given himself that chance and he will continue to build off of that and come back in camp ready to roll.”

Green trimmed some of the inches and bulked up the muscle during his time away from the field. He remained in the building but also worked out on the sides as Houston clinched its first playoff berth in four years.

Ryans said long stints on the IR can derail a person’s spirit, so it was important to keep encouraging Green throughout the process.

“It is a difficult time when you’re going through an injury, everybody else is out at practice and you are going home that is a tough spot to be in, but he has been encouraged through it all, seeing the smile on his face,” Ryans said.

A year later, Green looks more agile when holding blocks for C.J. Stroud and opening lanes for Joe Mixon. Throughout drills on Wednesday, he worked with the first-team offense at left guard.

Ideally, Houston hopes Green can remain healthy. General manager Nick Caserio saw the upside of a prominent run blocker who held his own in pass protection during his three seasons as a starter in College Station.

Should Green win the starting left guard position, Houston’s offensive line would be secure, barring a late-training camp injury. Tytus Howard and Pro Bowler Laremy Tunsil are out due to knee injuries, but they’re expected back for the start of next month’s camp.

Shaq Mason isn’t moving from right guard, and the Texans traded up into the second round last season to make Juice Scruggs their center.

Green will have to earn his way onto the field. Ryans’ conversations with the former first-round pick should serve as a sign the path to starting won’t be a concern.

“He is just like, ‘Coach, I am ready to get back out there, it looks like it is fun out there I am excited to go play again.’ ” Ryans said of Green’s enthusiasm to return. “So, seeing that in his eyes I am excited to see him go compete.”

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire