CJ Stroud dealt double blow ahead of Houston Texans rookie season

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Stroud will be playing with a depleted offensive line during his rookie season
Stroud will be playing with a depleted offensive line during his rookie season

Houston Texans quarterback CJ Stroud will be without two of his starting offensive line for at least the beginning of his rookie season in the NFL.

Stroud, 21, was who Houston selected with the second pick in late April's NFL draft and is set to take over as their starting quarterback this upcoming season. Davis Mills was the starter last year and for most of the previous campaign but is expected to revert to being a backup.

The Texans have not had a long-time quarterback since finally trading Deshaun Watson to the Cleveland Browns last March. There have also been changes on the sideline, with first-year head coach Lovie Smith being fired and replaced by former player DeMeco Ryans.

However, last year's Assistant Coach of the Year award winner has overseen a far-from-ideal training camp. Stroud is similarly affected by the upcoming absentees.

The injury issues began last week when starting center Scott Quessenberry tore an ACL and MCL during practice on Thursday. He only re-signed in March and will now miss the entirety of the upcoming season and is now on injured reserve.

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Two days later, starting right tackle Tytus Howard also went down with a hand injury. Local media in Houston reports that it is now in a cast, and coach Ryans was hardly optimistic about the diagnosis.

Howard will be "out for a while" with the issue. Ryans did not elaborate further on any timeline at a press conference on Monday or whether the tackle would be back during the preseason.

CJ Stroud dealt double blow ahead of Houston Texans rookie seasonStroud has been impressing during the offseason (Getty Images)

While teammates may have been dropping like flies this offseason, Stroud has been impressing his colleagues this summer. Wide receiver Noah Brown even believes the rookie could one day become better than his former Dallas Cowboys teammate Dak Prescott.

"They're both great quarterbacks — great arm talent," Brown said after being asked to compare the two in mid-June. "That's a great class to be in.

"I think he has all the potential to live up to that, maybe even surpass it. So, you know, I'm rooting for C.J., and I’m willing to have his back on anything."

“I know C.J. has great arm talent. [In] the little bit of time I’ve been here working with him, he’s picked up the offense fast, taken ownership of his reps. I think that can only lead to positive things.”

Stroud also seems happy in his surrounding and taking to life as a pro. "I feel like I’m built for this, and I’m made not just to play football but to use football to help people and inspire and lead people to God," he said back in May.

"But it’s just a stepping stone. I have a lot more goals and a lot more plans to accomplish what I want to accomplish, off and on the field, so I’m excited to be able to do that with this great organization."

Matthew Abbott

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