HOUSTON (Sportsradio 610) – Texans left tackle Duane Brown ended his long standing contract holdout on Monday as he finally reported to NRG Stadium after missing the first six games of the regular season and all of the team’s 2017 training camp.
Brown’s holdout is one of the longer ones in recent NFL history and although he has never publicly discussed what his holdout goal was, the ramifications of his absence have resulted in thousands of dollars in pre-season fines, and $3.3 million in lost salary after forfeiting his first six game checks on 2017. Brown still has a final year left on his deal which is set to pay him $9.65 million.
Brown answered questions at his locker on Monday morning before his return to the practice field, and he was mum on his holdout and that he wanted to focus on football.
“I’m just here working,” Brown said. “I’m leaving everything else up to the front office and my agent. I’m just here to work.”
Brown returns as the Texans prepare for their Week 8 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks and currently boast the third ranked scoring offense in the NFL, led by rookie sensation Deshaun Watson. The running game has been equally as impressive as the offensive line has made some adjustments in Brown’s absence. Brown has noticed the improvements and mentioned he had been watching the team play during his holdout.
“It’s incredible. Doing some great things,” Brown said about the Texans’ offense. “‘The line’s playing great. Great running game. Deshaun is (Watson) a special talent, the receivers have been doing good. Just clicking overall.”
The Texans have yet to activate Brown and have a two week roster exemption in which Brown can practice with the team without having to be on the active roster, which would require a roster move as the Texans are currently at 53 players.
Bill O’Brien is excited to have Brown back and did not rule out the veteran tackle playing on Sunday.
“Glad to have him back,” O’Brien said. “He’s in good shape and we’ll just keep working with him and see where it goes from here.”
Brown looked to be in good shape and Texans guard Xavier Su’a Filo mentioned that it was obvious that Brown appeared to be ready to play. Brown expressed his readiness to play on Sunday if called upon.
“Very ready. It’s my tenth year doing it, so I’m very familiar with what I need to do in order to be out there and be productive and be efficient,” Brown said. “I’m in shape, so just getting caught up to speed on the plays and the terminology and I’ll be good.”
Brown did not practice with the team during the portion of practice open to the media and he did not let on if he will indeed be on the roster Sunday in Seattle.
“That’s up to the coaching staff. I’ll be ready,” Brown said.
Alex Del Barrio covers the Houston Texans for Sportsradio610.com and is the color commentator for the Houston Dynamo. He also hosts “ADB and Murph” with Matt Murphy which can be heard on Saturday afternoons 4-7 pm Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio