Linebacker Christian Harris was among the Houston Texans’ most anticipated rookie prospects heading into this season, but injuries have de-railed what looked to be a promising first year for him to this point. He missed the early part of the team’s schedule due to an issue with his hamstring, and after making waves in his first games after his debut in October, was pulled from the Texans’ Week 12 tilt with a shoulder injury.
Head coach Lovie Smith addressed his status on Wednesday at Houston’s press conference after practice and told reporters that he is optimistic about Harris’ trajectory heading into the team’s matchup against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
“He’s getting better,” Smith said. “Whenever you can’t finish a game, there’s concern. We’re hoping he’ll be okay. It’s nothing season-ending. His growth, he needs to continue to play. He’s missed a lot of time. Right when he’s taking steps up, you start missing time, of course that doesn’t help the case. Hopefully, he’ll be ready to go.”
The Texans will need all hands on deck against their former quarterback in this matchup, especially on defense given the Browns’ diverse offensive approach. With Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to contend against in the running game, and the likes of David Njoku and Amari Cooper to stop when Cleveland passes, this matchup will be anything but a cakewalk.
Losing Harris for yet another week would be disastrous for Houston, especially given the stakes of the game they’re scheduled to play on Sunday. The 1-9-1 Texans need a win in the worst way, and if they were able to get one over on the Browns against their former quarterback who will be making his first start of the season, jobs might be saved both on the field and in the front office as the year winds to a close ahead of their rebuild in 2023.