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Johnson Starts At Left Tackle In Win Over Lions

With Matt Kalil out, Roderick Johnson was the Texans starting LT

August 18, 2019 - 12:05 am

HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610)- When Deshaun Watson and the Texans offensive Saturday's 30-23 win over the Detroit Lions at NRG Stadium, 23-year old Roderick Johnson was tasked with protecting the star quarterback's blind side. The Texans marched 75-yards in 11 plays resulting in a DeAndre Hopkins four-yard touchdown catch, and just as important as the end result, Watson was barely touched.

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“Our first drive as an offense was phenomenal," Johnson told SportsRadio 610. "A score, clean operation, went on down and scored, so that’s always a big thing to happen, and overall throughout the game, our offense did pretty good as well.”

After missing Thursday's joint practice against the Lions, Veteran Matt Kalil didn't play Saturday in order to manage his reps. That gave Johnson an opportunity, and he thought he handled it well.

"I think it was solid," he said. "I gotta go home and watch the film to get a true evaluation. I did some good things and bad things out there.”

A 2017 fifth round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns, Johnson joined the Texans before training camp last season. He split time between the practice squad and the active roster, appearing in the Texans week 15 loss to the Indianpolis Colts, and while he hasn't seen a lot of playing time during his time with the Texans, he's impressed many in the locker room, including Watson.

“Rod’s been awesome," Watson said Saturday. "Just his spirit, his joy, just his love of the game, and he works his tail off to earn that position, to earn that opportunity to get to play with the first team, and just to step on the field, so he’s a guy that works his tail off, he plays hard, he has a lot of effort, he’s very disciplined, he doesn’t make too many mistakes, so he’s been doing a heck of a job, and I’m comfortable sitting in the pocket with him at left tackle.”

O'Brien declared Saturday night that Kalil remains atop the Texans depth chart at left tackle, but Johnson says he won't let that deter him from chasing after the job.

“I’m just trying to do what I need to do. Come to work everyday, get better as a player than I was yesterday, and let it all play out.”