As frustrating as it was for Texans veteran center Justin Britt to be a part of the first shutout at home in franchise history, he did at least have the satisfaction of making a healthy return from a lingering knee injury.
Britt made his return to the starting lineup Sunday during a 31-0 defeat to the Indianapolis Colts. Signed to a one-year, $5 million contract during the offseason, the former Seattle Seahawks standout was activated from injured reserve-designated for return Saturday after recovering from a hyperextended and bruised knee.
“I felt great today," Britt said Sunday at NRG Stadium. "I don't know if it was the juice of being out for a little bit, but body felt good. Shout out to our athletic training staff for helping me get back in a quick manner and in a healthy manner. I'm ready to see the film, build off this and try to go 1-0 next week. That's all we can do. That's all we can control.”
It was another rough day for the offense as Britt replaced rookie Jimmy Morrissey after he had started the previous three games.
The Texans generated just 141 yards of total offense, nine first downs and an average of 2.8 yards on 50 offensive plays. Quarterbacks Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills were each sacked twice for a total of four sacks. The running game marginally improved, averaging 4.4 yards per run as they produced 84 yards on 19 carries with running back Rex Burkhead leading the team with 30 yards on eight carries and wide receiver Brandin Cooks having the longest run on a 16-yard reverse.
Houston was better in the run game at 4.4 yards per rush, a substantial increase from their 32nd ranked 3.2 average going into the weekend. But, overall, the offense averaged 2.8 yards per play and mustered just 141 yards while getting shut out at home for the first time in franchise history.
The Texans rank last in the NFL in total offense and scoring offense.
“I'm going to have to go see the film, but we've got to figure out a way to score points, stay on the field, keep our defense off the field," Britt said. "I thought they played really hard and fought for pretty much most of the game against a really good running team. But if we leave them out on the field, then we're not doing them justice. We've just got to look at the film, figure out what happened and just stick to it, chopping wood day after day, working with a purpose. A goal to go 1-0 and do what we can to get ready for next week.”
This marked Britt's first game lining up next to left offensive guard Lane Taylor and left tackle Tytus Howard.
“Lane has played a lot of ball, so I've been itching for him to just get a feel of it, get back out there," Britt said. "It was really cool to see him out there last week. I'm honored to be able to play with him because whenever the Texans signed him, I reached out to him and I was super excited because I've been watching him, playing against him every year my whole career."