Texans exercise caution, hold out Kenyon Green against Rams

LOS ANGELES -- As a precautionary measure, the Texans held rookie offensive guard Kenyon Green out of Friday night's preseason road game against the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.

The first-round draft pick from Texas A&M and former blue-chip recruit from Atascosita High School just returned to practice Wednesday from a concussion that sidelined him for two weeks after clearing the NFL concussion protocol.

Green was replaced in the starting lineup by Max Scharping, who struggled and allowed one sack where quarterback Davis Mills fumbled and Scharping recovered.

Already declared a starter by Texans coach Lovie Smith, Green is regarded as a top candidate to start the first game of the regular season. The Texans want to get him some preseason work as soon as next week against the San Francisco 49ers.

Green missed time this offseason due to surgery to repair a lateral collateral ligament, but the knee has improved significantly and he wears a brace for protective reasons.

"Kenyon Green was able to get back into full-speed work," Texans coach Lovie Smith said this week. "Eventually we'll get him out there. The biggest thing was to get him back into the mix. He missed a couple weeks, so we'll gradually get him back into the full-time mix, but no issues, right on track. We'll see how it goes.”

Green sustained the concussion despite wearing the new league-mandated helmet covers designed to lower the chances of suffering a head injury.

"I mean, it's not 100 percent wearing those covers," Smith said. "Of course, you lessen the odds of getting concussion, but nothing is 100 percent in football. It wasn't a big blow or anything like that. 

"The game of football, there's no way we can eliminate concussions in our game, but you stay out, and eventually you get back clear. We've really taken our time with him. We make sure a guy is really ready to go, where there's no symptoms before we put him on the football field, and that's how we took it with him.”

Green was signed to a four-year, fully guaranteed $15.9 million contract that includes a fifth-year club option. A former consensus All-American and All-Southeastern Conference selection, Green is a former Houston Touchdown Club Offensive Player of the Year.

“The rook is doing pretty good," Texans right tackle Tytus Howard said during training camp "I think Kenyon is doing a pretty good job of when he was not in the ones, watching what he needs to be able to do to keep up with the ones."

Green (6-foot-4, 323 pounds) started two games at right tackle, one at left tackle, two at right guard, and seven at left guard last season for the Aggies.

“My blood, sweat, and tears have been here 21 years almost,"" Green said after being drafted. "I mean, it's really nothing else to say. I'm here. I'm ready to go, so, you know, whatever that takes, whatever we need to do to do that, I'm willing and ready.”

A former All-SEC freshman selection at right guard, Green moved to left guard in 2020 and started every game. He was named a second-team All-American and second-team all-SEC selection. Green was a finalist for the Lombardi Award last season.

"He’s been a really productive, consistent player," Texans general manager Nick Caserio said after drafting Green. "He played tackle. He played guard. I would say he is probably a better guard than he is a tackle. I think he is probably more of an inside player, but we'll put him in the mix. Local kid, so I'm sure all of the Texans, fellow Texans, will be happy about that. He’s a real solid kid. 

"I would say blue collar, humble, soft-spoken, lunch pail. Shows up, doesn't say much. Just kind of works his ass off and wants to play football. That fits the profile of what we want from the players that walk in this building."

Aaron Wilson is a Pro Football Network reporter and a contributor to Sports Talk 790.

Houston Texans v Los Angeles Rams

Photo: Getty Images

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