What's Left for Kenyon Green in 2023?
The former first rounder's season is off to a rocky start so where does it go from here?
Kenyon Green is having a rough season, and it might not smooth out anytime soon.
Green’s second season has been a continuation of the end of last year. He’s hurt. He’s played poorly. We’re all wondering if there is a better option at left guard.
This wasn’t supposed to happen like this. Sure, 2022 was a disappointment but there were plenty of things you could use as an excuse for Green. He was a rookie in a bad offense with a lack of solid interior play next to him. The defensive lines he was forced to block contained some of the most serious defensive tackles in football. The wear and tear of the long season pushed his body to the limit.
This season has been much of the same. The body is seemingly betraying him. He was on a rep count and slowly worked into the rotation early in training camp. He finally settled into the reps, and then Michael Deiter was suddenly playing left guard in the preseason finale while Green was playing with the second unit. In the midst of his second unit snaps Green seemed to get injured further.
DeMeco Ryans explained Deiter “deserved” the reps and the team wanted to see how he fit with the first team. Deiter had previously rotated snaps with Kenyon Green in portions of training camp.
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Ryans would go on to offer some context to Green’s season.
“Kenyon [Green] has done a great job of battling through,” Ryans said. “He’s been dealing with some things. He’s battled through a lot, and it’s been tough on him, but I’m proud of Kenyon and what he’s battled through that everyone may not know.”
Ryans declined to further explain his comments but said it was “multiple things” for Green.
The Texans have to put the five best players on the offensive line. If that is Michael Deiter and not Kenyon Green, so be it. Sure, the investment in Green is hefty and his sitting on the bench is less than ideal. The investment in C.J. Stroud is greater and he must be protected the best he can.
If it is an injury for Green, perhaps the injured reserve with a chance to heal up and return when ready could be beneficial for him. It would allow the Texans to arrange their depth, maybe even keep an extra player elsewhere. Green could then work back into the situation at left guard with hopefully a clean bill of health.
Moving on from Green now isn’t possible or likely. It would be fiscally irresponsible and I can’t imagine Nick Caserio is ready to call it quits on his first pick from the Deshaun Watson trade.
There might not be an easy option, but the team can’t be stubborn at the risk of C.J. Stroud. If Kenyon Green is ready to block in Baltimore against the Ravens, put him out there. If he isn’t, send Michael Deiter to do the job. The investment in Green isn’t going to keep Stroud safe from the nasty Ravens defense.
A few comments about some of the reported cuts the Texans have already made.
I am surprised to see Desmond King shown the door as KPRC first reported. If he wasn’t the first option for the nickel cornerback reps, he was solid depth. I believe he will be on someone’s roster. It’s a testament to roster improvement that a mainstay from the past couple of seasons has been beaten out though.
Roy Lopez saw a few players behind him play well and an injury put him behind the cut line. The injury lingering is hurting his chances of making another team too. There was certainly potential here coming into training camp, but Lopez’s hot start didn’t last. Roy Lopez is potentially the first of Nick Caserio's draft picks who would not be on the team.
Linebacker Christian Kirksey became an easy cut when an injury cost him his preseason and plenty of other linebackers played well. The Texans also saved a few million dollars by releasing Kirksey.