The Houston Texans appear to have a healthy competition brewing at left tackle heading into the 2019 NFL season. Quarterback Deshaun Watson has added some further intrigue to the situation with some praise for Roderick Johnson.

Johnson has made a strong impression through training camp and the preseason. According to Avery Duncan of the Texans Wire, Watson credited him with taking advantage of his opportunities:

“He’s been great. Rod’s been awesome, just his spirit and his joy; just his love of the game,” Watson said. “He works his tail off to be able to earn that position, to be able to earn that opportunity to get to play with the first team and just to step on the field.”

Watson even went so far as to suggest he would even be comfortable with Johnson protecting his blindside.

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“He’s been doing a heck of a job and I’m comfortable sitting in the pocket with him at left tackle,” said Watson.

Head coach Bill O’Brien has already made it clear that left tackle Matt Kalil will be the Week 1 starter after signing the former Pro Bowler this offseason. Regardless, Johnson’s emergence could be a situation to monitor throughout the season.

Watson was sacked an NFL-high 62 times while getting hit 133 times in the 2018 campaign. As a result, the Texans have seemingly tried to put an emphasis on shoring up his protection this offseason. If Kalil is unable to get the job done to start the season, Watson’s approval could provide some opportunities for Johnson.