What to watch for in 2018 Texans preseason opener

By Randy McIlvoy - Sports Director

Texans receiver Deandre Hopkins at training camp in 2018.

HOUSTON - The Texans spent 12 days in West Virginia, and Thursday is the time to begin the evaluation process as they open the preseason in Kansas City against the Chiefs.

It’s the first of four games and it would be a surprise to see key players taking a significant number of snaps in the coming weeks.

Wednesday is the first test for Bill O’Brien’s bunch in KC before they return to Houston and resume training camp on Saturday morning.

Here are some predictions from KPRC2's Randy McIlvoy:

Deshaun Watson: We will see very little of No. 4, but barring a last minute change of heart, O’Brien wants Watson out there for a few snaps. I expect one series, possibly two. A couple of passes, hopefully to Deandre Hopkins, and a few handoffs, and then he'll be done for the night. He’s coming back from the ACL injury and should be able to shake some rust off tonight in KC.

Running game: With no D'Onta Foreman, we’ll see some of Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue along with guys trying to make the team -- Tyler Ervin and Troymaine Pope. Pope had a strong offseason and has been mentioned several times by O’Brien during training camp as a guy who’s standing out.

WR: I think Hopkins will play a little with Watson out there. No need for any more. He has nothing to prove. (It's) just about timing. I’m excited to see Will Fuller and Bruce Ellington get some work in.

TE: Ryan Griffin is the starter, but good battle behind him with rookie Jordan Thomas (6-5, 280 pounds, from Mississippi State) and Jordan Akins (6-4, 250 pounds, 26 years old, from Central Florida).

Offensive Line: Do I need to say it again? The biggest question mark on this team -- LT Julien Davenport, RT Seantrel Henderson need to show me something. Guards Kelemete, Zach Fulton, Kyle Fuller and Nick Martin at center.

Watt, Clowney, Mercilus won’t see the field.

Secondary: I hope Tyrann Mathieu will be out there. I also want to see some snaps from Kareem Jackson at SS and rookie Justin Reid. Kevin Johnson has had a good camp so far. Now he needs to show progress in the preseason and stay healthy this year.

LB: With Mercilus out, backup Latroy Lewis will play. Excited to see Zach Cunningham and Dylan Cole.

Adam Wexler is in KC covering the game. He’ll be live at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.

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