Here are the key solutions, challenges to finally unlocking Houston Texans offense

UNLEASH!

During the Texans' game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, center Jarrett Patterson sustained a leg injury that will keep him out of the lineup for the foreseeable future, per Aaron Wilson.

Monday, Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans was about the health of rookie center Juice Scruggs who has missed the entire regular season to this point with a hamstring injury. Ryans said he didn't have an update on Scruggs when asked if he would be returning to practice this week.

So it looks like the Texans may turn to Michael Dieter at center, who replaced Patterson on Sunday, while they wait for Scruggs to get healthy. The Texans have already dealt with a ton of injuries to their o-line this year. Which is why Tytus Howard is struggling to play left guard instead of lining up at right tackle, the position he was given a hefty contract extension to play before the season.

The coaches have said they want to have their best 5 linemen on the field, which is why Howard is not likely to move back to tackle anytime soon, even though his run blocking has been below average at guard. This also means the Texans inability to run the ball may not get fixed this season.

Houston's running backs have also received criticism for the lackluster running game, but all three backs haven't seen much success, so this feels like a scheme/talent issue on the line. In fact, the Texans' two biggest runs on Sunday came after the backs had to make a defender miss in the backfield.

Houston had a great opportunity to run the ball against one of the worst run defenses in the league against Carolina. But even that matchup couldn't get the Texans run game on track. So where do they go from here? Maybe being less predictable and throwing more on first down could help Stroud and the offense. How they shuffle the line when Scruggs returns could also be an option.

Either way, be sure to watch the video above as we examine all the possibilities to get the ground game going, and protect Stroud in the process.

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Giants defeat the Astros, 5-3. Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images.

Austin Slater had three hits and drove in two runs to help the San Francisco Giants beat the Houston Astros 5-3 on Wednesday.

Slater also stole a base and scored for San Francisco, which took the rubber game of the three-game series in a speedy 2 hours, 7 minutes.

Yordan Álvarez homered for Houston, which has lost three of four overall.

The Giants jumped on Framber Valdez for five runs and eight hits in four innings. Valdez (5-4) threw 59 pitches in his shortest outing of the season, finishing with just one strikeout, his fewest in a game since July 26 when he had one against Texas.

San Francisco right-hander Logan Webb (6-5) permitted three runs and seven hits in six innings.

Ryan Walker, Tyler Rogers and Camilo Doval combined for three scoreless innings in relief. Doval struck out former Giants utility player Mauricio Dubón to end the game, earning his 12th save in 14 chances.

Wilmer Flores gave San Francisco an early lead with a sacrifice fly in the third. Matt Chapman followed with an RBI double.

Jeremy Peña drove in Houston’s first run on an infield single in the fourth.

Slater answered with a two-run single in the bottom of the inning, and Heliot Ramos added a sacrifice fly to make it 5-1.

Álvarez hit a two-run homer to center in the sixth, his 14th of the year.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: OF Kyle Tucker (right shin contusion) has not begun baseball activities and is not expected to return Friday when he is eligible to come off the injured list. However, manager Joe Espada did not rule him out for the weekend. ... C Yainer Díaz missed his third straight game with a sore right index finger, though Espada said he was available off the bench and should be ready to start Friday.

Giants: LHP Blake Snell (left groin strain) threw off a mound for the first time since going on the IL on June 3. ... RHP Austin Warren (right elbow UCL surgery) pitched a scoreless inning with one strikeout in a rehab outing with Single-A San Jose on Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Astros: Return home for a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers beginning Friday night. RHP Hunter Brown (2-5, 5.58 ERA) seeks his fifth straight quality start, while Detroit hadn’t announced a starter.

Giants: Host the Los Angeles Angels in a three-game series starting Friday night. Neither team had announced a starter.

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