5 things to watch during Texans preseason game against Green Bay

GREEN BAY, Wisc. – The Texans open up preseason play with a road game at legendary Lambeau Field against the Packers on Thursday night.

Here are the five things to watch for during the game.

Backup QB

With nominal backup A.J. McCarron out with a hand injury, snaps will get distributed between veteran Joe Webb and rookie Jordan Ta'Amu.

While Webb has been on the training camp roster all year, Ta'Amu could earn himself a look with a good performance.

DeShaun Watson is unlikely to play more than one or two series.

Backup RB

This was going to be more interesting until early Thursday when the Texans traded for Duke Johnson, who will slot in as the Texans RB2, and is a great addition to the short pass game.

All week, rookie running backs Karan Higdon and Damarea Crockett battled and made plays to set themselves apart to maybe fill in for cut running back D'Onta Foreman. The rookies will now have to battle for the No. 3 spot with Johnson in the mix, but also have to fend off veterans like Taiwan Jones and Josh Ferguson, who are likely to get carries, too.

Can rookie TE Kahale Warring make a splash?

The Texans have the Jordans -- Thomas and Akins -- both in their second years to likely lead the tight ends during the regular season.

The Texans also surprisingly drafted Kahale Warring out of San Diego State with a third-round pick, and after returning from an injury, he played very well in the joint training camps -- scoring a touchdown both days.

Warring, as the No. 3 or No. 4 tight end on the depth chart should get plenty of looks in Thursday's game.

Max Scharping homecoming

While we've talked a ton about J.J. Watt's homecoming, Watt won't play Thursday. He'll be relegated to playing catch with fans as he typically does due to a mix of veterans rarely playing in first preseason games and Watt's tweaked groin muscle.

Max Scharping, a rookie offensive lineman will get to play in front of his friends and family. Scharping grew up in Green Bay, and he is battling to get into the Texans offensive line rotation. Houston gave up 62 sacks last season and will need all the help they can get, even if it's from rookies.

Lonnie Johnson retribution

Texans rookie cornerback Lonnie Johnson didn't practice Tuesday after delivering a punishing hit to Packers rookie tight end Jace Sternberger.

Bill O'Brien said Johnson will play Thursday, and it's the first chance for a Packers team upset about the hit to see Johnson on the field. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets targeted to some degree, especially after a skirmish broke out at Tuesday's practice.

About the Author:

Murrow and Emmy award-winning sports anchor & reporter. Avid traveler, mediocre golfer. Loves good food, good friends and southern rap.