The last solo work before the Lions get to town

11 observations from Texans training camp for Aug. 12

@EdClarke03/Eddie Clarke

Jordan Thomas Returns

@EdClarke03/Eddie Clarke

Jordan Thomas made his return to the field today after missing quite a few dates with an injury. He looked a little rusty but he was athletic in a near one-handed grab in the end zone. He has some catching up to do. He's clearly behind Jordan Akins and Darren Fells has situations where he is more useful.

Deshaun on the move

Good thing the Texans have a quarterback that can move. Watson was running for his life on a couple of plays today. His ability to throw and move is fantastic and he is making better decisions on when to take off. It will be interesting to see if he can translate this to the regular season. If so some of the concerns about his injuries can go away.

Henderson holding up

Seantrell Henderson had more wins over J.J. Watt than I have ever seen in camp. Henderson fought Watt to a tie a few times and held up the Texans excellent pass rusher a couple of times. I feel much better about Henderson than most members of the line. I, of course, was high on him before last season too. The only concern here is health.

Kalil's day off presents opportunity

Matt Kalil seemingly got a veteran day off on Monday for the Texans. With him out Roderick Johnson and Julién Davenport worked the majority of time at left tackle in Kalil's absence. If either player stood out there is a chance Kalil would be out of a job. They have a long way to go before they could supplant Kalil. This is a big week for Kalil to keep his spot at left tackle.

Welcome back Mr. Carter

DeAndre Carter is a breath of fresh air. He can do almost everything Keke Coutee can do from the slot and won more than a few reps today. There was a play where he absolutely worked the defensive back and quarterback Jordan Ta'amu missed him much to the chagrin of some coaches who pointed out Carter's win.

Tyron Johnson's roles

Tyron Johnson got some work in the return game and one of the biggest things is he doesn't miss reps. Luck has been on Johnson's side with health and he's been getting plenty of good work in. He had an amazing catch today with Deante Burton in coverage. He used his off hand to keep Burton at bay and came down with a very nice catch with Burton right there.

Fulton a man of many talents

Zach Fulton is playing center while Nick Martin and Greg Mancz deal with injuries. Fulton filled in at center in 2017 for the Chiefs. I wouldn't be shocked if he is actually the best center on the team. With him at center there has been plenty of work for Max Scharping at guard and the rookie has been paying off on those opportunities.

Gillaspia's fingertip catch

Fullback Cullen Gillaspia had a catch today that was again impressive in his ability to do those things. It looked like it was out of his reach but he was able to haul it in and beat his man to the front of the end zone for a touchdown. His ability to haul in passes has impressed me and while I was high on that aspect of his game he's got more potential there than I realized.

Crowded room for Johnnie Dixon

Johnnie Dixon hasn't had a bad camp but by comparison to others he hasn't stood out. He has a lot of physical gifts and his quickness is certainly an asset. He had a probable fumble in a drill today that got the defense excited. There have been others who have shined brighter but I think there's something there, maybe just not for the Texans.

Play of the day

Tyron Johnson coming down with the ball in coverage or Cullen Gillaspia's fingertip snag.

Quote of the day

"I'm still having fun."

Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel who has no plans of slowing down approaching his 37th season in the NFL. Crennel has a tall task this season but hopefully his experience can cover up some of the potential shortcomings on the team. Also, I imagine if the defense didn't look good this season he would be coaching year 38 in the NFL somewhere else.

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College football needs to call a timeout on the 2020 season.

The Big Ten and Pac-12 are set to announce, maybe today, perhaps in a few weeks, whether they will play football this fall.

Already the Ivy League, Mountain West and Mid-American Conference have canceled their fall football season for health and safety reasons amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Power 5 conferences – the Big Ten, Pac-12, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12 and Southeastern Conference – should get onboard and put their football seasons on hold, too.

While some elected officials without medical degrees say that coronavirus amounts to little more than sniffles for young people, healthcare experts argue that college-age people, while they do recover quickly and may not exhibit symptoms, do contract and spread the virus.

There has been a 90 percent increase of young people testing positive for the virus in the past four weeks. More important, health experts say they can't measure the long-term effects of the virus, which may include brain damage, heart disease and reduced lung capacity.

There is a simple solution to play or not play college football this fall – postpone the season to next spring, when health experts will know more about the disease. There possibly could be a vaccine by then, which would allow fans back in stadiums.

Many high-profile college players and coaches weighed in on the debate Monday, almost unanimously saying that the 2020 football schedule should be played on schedule, starting in a few weeks.

Players, including Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, adopted the hashtag #WeWantToPlay. In a tweet, Lawrence said that players would be more at risk for coronavirus if the fall season doesn't move forward. "We are more likely to get the virus in everyday life than playing football."

Lawrence added that, if the football season is canceled or postponed, players "will be sent home to their own communities where social distancing is highly unlikely."

Alabama coach Nick Saban told ESPN, "Look, players are a lot safer with us than they are running around at home."

Two points: University presidents should listen to only one group of people – healthcare professionals – when they decide whether to cancel or postpone the fall football season. Yes, players want to play during this pandemic. But players also want to play when they are injured or their brain was just scrambled by a vicious tackle. We applaud athletes who play with a broken leg. We see players with concussions plead with their coaches to put them back in the game.

As for the argument that players are more likely to catch the virus if they're sent home – who's sending them home? These are student-athletes. Students. Most college campuses will be open with students attending classes this fall. Major college programs like Clemson have 85 full scholarships designated for football. Colleges won't take away players' scholarships if the football season is canceled. Clemson's campus will open Sept. 21 for in-person classes.

ESPN college football analyst Greg McElroy also said the season should be played as scheduled: "If they're (players) OK, then I'm OK." Texas governor Greg Abbott chimed in on the players' side. He said, "It's their careers, it's their health."

What "careers" is he talking about? There are about 775 colleges that play football. Only 1.7 percent of all those players will play in the NFL or another professional league. On Sept. 3, Rice University will play Army. It is unlikely that any of those players will have a career in football. However, given the excellence of academics at those colleges, players will have career opportunities in something other than football. The average NFL career is 2-1/2 years. Rice and Army grads can top that.

The NBA is completing its season in a bubble in Orlando, with players confined to their hotels between games. Only 22 teams are in Orlando for the lockdown. The Rockets organization sent about 35 people, including coaches, players and essential personnel to Orlando.

Baseball is playing its season outside a bubble. So many players are testing positive for coronavirus that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred last week threatened to end the season if teams don't do a better job of enforcing the league's health protocol. What's left is an unbalanced season. For example, the Atlanta Braves and Seattle Mariners have played 18 games, while the St. Louis Cardinals have played only five games. The ironically first-place Miami Marlins, which had 18 players test positive, have played only 10 games.

College football can't be played in a bubble. There are too many teams, with some having more than 100 players and 20 coaches. And no sport thrives on fans' excitement and marching bands like college football. Several colleges, including the University of Texas and Texas A&M, have stadiums that hold more than 100,000 fans. Even if college football could be played in a bubble, it would require isolating players from August to January, when they're supposed to be in class. I know … supposed.

This one is easy. For the health and safety of players, play the fall 2020 season in spring 2021.

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