Duane Brown “Very Hopeful” About His Regular-Season Return Date

HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) — The Texans have rolled out a patchwork offensive line due to injuries all preseason, and the hope has been that they’d get leader and left offensive tackle Duane Brown back in time for the regular season.

Brown spoke to the media after Sunday’s 31-24 win vs. the Cardinals in NRG Stadium, and he was coy about his potential status for Week 1 against Chicago.

“No setbacks,” Brown said with a smile. “Everything has been going great. Had a great week of work last week. Aiming for another one this week.”

Brown suffered a torn quadriceps in Week 17 last season against Jacksonville and missed Houston’s playoff loss to Kansas City. The Pro Bowl tackle has yet to practice in Training Camp.

A stint on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list is still possible. That would require a minimum of six games missed.

Brown hinted that he and the team may take a cautious approach to his return, even as he targets that Sept. 11 regular-season opener.

“I’m very hopeful, but it’s not decided yet,” he said. “We’re not going to do numbers, just taking it a day at a time. Not going to rush on it, and I’ll make sure I’m the Duane Brown I’ve become over the years when I’m out there.”

Brown did admit he’s confident the quad injury won’t have a lasting affect on his career.

“It’s been a long year, but the progress I’ve made has me very optimistic going forward.”

Meanwhile, Brown watched new quarterback Brock Osweiler sling the ball all over the field as the Texans piled up points on a potent Cardinals defense in the first half of Sunday’s win.

The bevy of speed and offensive talent from an offseason overhaul left the longest-tenured Texan salivating.

“It was amazing watching those guys work,” Brown said. “The weapons that we have, you’re definitely on the sideline itching. I’d love to be out there with my guys, but they’re doing a great job in my absence.”

And about that patchwork offensive line, with Brown, Derek Newton and expected starter Nick Martin all absent again?

Brown said the unit is performing admirably in his stead.

“That’s been the theme around here, it’s always next man up.” he said. “Injuries are part of the game up front. Guys play in different positions. It doesn’t matter, you do what you have to do to get the job done. They’ve done a heck of a job.

“We’ve got a couple veterans, but for the most part, we’re a very young O-line. The way those guys have responded has been encouraging.”

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