Critical observations you need to know about from Houston Texans OTAs

TEXANS OTAS

Houston Texans CJ Stroud
The Texans are back in action! Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans are back on the field for voluntary OTAs, and it sure is nice to see one face in particular. Tank Dell is already participating in on-field drills after suffering a gunshot wound to the leg just a few weeks ago.

After the incident, Texans CEO Cal McNair said Dell would take a while to get back to where he was in his broken fibula rehab before suffering the gunshot wound. Clearly, Dell is ahead of schedule, and that's a great thing for QB CJ Stroud and the rest of the offense.

Head coach DeMeco Ryans spoke about Tank Dell's return.

Notable absences

The biggest addition of the offseason, Stefon Diggs, is not present at OTAs. Tytus Howard, Laremy Tunsil, and Shaq Mason are not in attendance either. Let's keep in mind, these workouts are voluntary, but it would have been great to see Diggs show up to build chemistry with Stroud.

Speaking of building chemistry with Stroud. The Texans' most productive receiver last season, Nico Collins, is on the field preparing for a huge contract year.

All Collins really has to prove this year is that he can stay healthy. He recorded 1,297 receiving yards and 8 TDs over 15 games in 2023.

He hasn't made it through a season healthy over his three-year career. Hopefully he bucks the trend in 2024. If he does, he likely will receive a contract extension similar to Colts receiver Michael Pittman. A three-year, $70 million deal with $46 million in guarantees. If he remains healthy, he'll get that money from someone, whether it's the Texans or another team.

Especially if Diggs leaves after the season when his contract expires.

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Astros defeat Giants, 3-1. Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images.

Ronel Blanco had eight strikeouts in six innings, Mauricio Dubon scored twice and the Houston Astros beat the San Francisco Giants 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Blanco (6-2) allowed one run on three hits and became the first pitcher in Astros history to go undefeated in his first nine career road starts, improving to 6-0 away from home. His eight strikeouts tied a season high.

Houston took a 3-1 lead in the fifth when two runs scored on an RBI infield single by Alex Bregman. With two outs and runners on second and third, Gold Glove third baseman Matt Chapman grabbed Bregman’s softly hit ball with a bare hand but threw wide of first for an error, allowing both runners to score.

Ryan Pressly earned his second save of the season, striking out two in the ninth to finish a three-hitter. The Astros can pick up their third consecutive series win with a victory on Wednesday.

Both teams scored a run in the third. Dubon came home on Jose Altuve's groundout after hitting a leadoff double, and Brett Wisely homered for the Giants. Dubon, who played for San Francisco from 2019-22, went 2 for 3 with two doubles.

Giants starter Jordan Hicks (4-3) allowed three runs in 4 2/3 innings.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: C Yainer Diaz is still dealing with a sore right index finger after getting hit by a foul ball Sunday. Houston recalled César Salazar from Triple-A Sugar Land for catching depth while Victor Caratini continues to start. OF Joey Loperfido was optioned to Triple-A in a corresponding move. … OF Kyle Tucker, on the injured list with a bruised right shin, is improving and was doing exercises in the weight room before the game.

Giants: Chapman returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sore hamstring. … RHP Alex Cobb (shoulder) felt “great” after throwing a bullpen of 20-25 pitches, according to manager Bob Melvin. … LHP Blake Snell (left groin strain) will throw off a mound Wednesday. … SS Marco Luciano (right hamstring strain) is close to beginning a rehab assignment.

UP NEXT

RHP Logan Webb (5-5, 2.92 ERA) pitches for the Giants against LHP Framber Valdez (5-3, 3.53) in the series finale Wednesday.

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