The Lions and Texans have spent time practicing together this week. They’ll play on Saturday night. Houston’s starters may get the night off.
“I don’t know,” coach Bill O’Brien said regarding whether he’ll use his first-string players. “We have got to look at the reps they got here [practicing against the Lions]. They got like 40 reps yesterday, probably got another 40 today, so 80 reps in two days with a game 48 hours away. We’ve got to look at the numbers of the GPS. We have to factor a lot of different things in. Getting into a real game without the coaches standing behind you, that’s also part of it, those types of things, but that’s not been determined yet.”
As O’Brien’s most important starter enters year three, a potential leap could be coming.
“I think where he’s grown leaps and bounds is just experience,” O’Brien said regarding quarterback Deshaun Watson, “the experience of seeing NFL defenses, seeing different looks has been awesome for him and he’s got a great IBM, he’s got a great brain and he takes it all in and he’s able to learn from those experiences.”
It will be much easier to put those experiences to use if he can get better blocking, because a significant chunk of Watson’s experiences in 2018 happened when he was trying to avoid opposing defenders.
Watson dressed but didn’t play when the Texans played the Packers last week. Joe Webb threw a whopping 40 passes in the game.