The Houston Texans could be in line for some major pass protection woes on Sunday, as ESPN NFL Nation’s Tania Ganguli tweets that the Texans have ruled out elite left tackle Duane Brown for tomorrow’s big game against the Houston Texans. The Baltimore Ravens have arguably the best pass rushing duo in the league in Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil, and both players were sensational last week against the Cleveland Browns with a combined six quarterback hits. Dumervil and Suggs are two elite players, and they were able to beat a very good tackle duo in Joe Thomas and Mitchell Schwartz last week.
With Duane Brown out with a bad case of the turf toe, it will be up to Ryan Harris to effectively block Matt Schaub’s blindeside and prevent the Ravens from getting into the backfield with ease. Schaub needs a clean pocket to work with, especially with the fearsome Suggs set to take most of the reps on right side of the defense (left side of the line).
I’m a fan of Ryan Harris going back to his days with the Denver Broncos, but he isn’t the player he used to be. That said, he’s a better emergency option than most and shouldn’t be embarrassed. The drop-off between a star player like Brown, who was excellent last week against the Tennessee Titans, and Harris is definitely significant, especially since Harris isn’t exactly a dependable player at this stage of his career. Derek Newton is already set for a beating against Dumervil, and so the last thing the Texans can afford to have happen is a bad spot-start from Harris.