Texans not giving up on Tytus Howard playing at left guard

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HOUSTON — Two years after playing right tackle, the Houston Texans moved offensive lineman Tytus Howard to left guard at the start of the 2021 season.

The position change showed signs of promise for Howard at the beginning. The Texans paired Howard between Pro Bowler Laremy Tunsil and stable veteran Justin Britt, as the left side of the offensive line had the potential to be Houston’s strong suit.

Nine games into the 2021 campaign, Howard’s transition to left guard has not been as prosperous. But according to offensive coordinator Tim Kelly, Howard playing left guard is still what is best for the Texans.

“That’s one of the good things about Tytus — he’s got the ability to play multiple positions,” Kelly said. “From what we’re seeing, he’s become more comfortable in there, because it’s different. It gets on him faster, the type of player you’re playing is different.”

Kelly told reporters on Thursday that he believes Howard has “adjusted well” in his transition to left guard, but acknowledged that the analytics tells a different story.

According to Pro Football Focus, Howard has posted an overall grade of 40.6 through the first half of the season. In comparison to the 62.1 grade he posted through 14 games played in 2020.

The 25-year-old offensive lineman has seen a decline in his on-field production after the change, while the injuries to Tunsil and Britt have also impacted Howard’s play.

“I get more comfortable every week — every play,” Howard said in late September. “There’s still a learning process, but I think I’m doing a pretty good job. There’s always room to improve and I am taking it day by day to get better and be the best version of myself for the team.”

Prior to the 2021 season, Howard played 1,232 career snaps at right tackle after the Texans selected the Alabama State prodigy during the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

The only time Howard play left guard came during his NFL debut against the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he played 64 snaps in the 13-12 victory at NRG Stadium.