Mandatory Credit: Photo by David J Phillip/AP/Shutterstock (13057114bu) Houston Texans linebacker Christian Harris (48) walks onto the field for an NFL football training camp practice, in Houston Texans Football, Houston, United States – 30 Jul 2022
The former Alabama star and 3rd round pick has been on injured reserve since September 1.
On Wednesday, Houston Texans rookie linebacker Christian Harris made his eagerly anticipated return to the practice field. Harris has been on IR since September 1 with a hamstring injury that sidelined him most of training camp.
Head coach Lovie Smith was not ready to say Harris would definitely be ready to play Week 5 vs. Jacksonville:
“It’s hard to say that right now. Just keep in mind, he’s a rookie and he’s never played in a game for us that went through a couple training camp practices, so that process has started. As far as maybe this week, we just started the process, and we had one practice. It’s pretty hard to say much more than he’s back out on the practice field. That’s the first step about availability. He’s available now and we’ve started the process.”
Smith reminded everyone that Harris missed a lot of camp plus the first four weeks of the season, so patience with Harris is required:
“All of those training camp practices, four weeks of practice, they matter, and you get better each time you practice. Is he behind? Absolutely. Our game is a little bit harder than to just jump right in and play the entire game. As far as when, you don’t know that, we’ll see how it goes. Right now, he came off the injury list and we’ve had one practice. I haven’t even had a chance to evaluate the video. Give us a little time to see exactly where he is. As soon as he’s ready to go and he can function and have an opportunity to have success, he’ll be out there.”
The coach also said he will need some time to evaluate Harris before knowing exactly how he can fit in:
“That was three months ago we’re talking about right now. Four months. I don’t know what else to say about it. Christian Harris has been out. He hasn’t played a game for us. He missed all of training camp pretty much and he’s back healthy now. We’ll start the process. On exactly when a rookie is ready to play, we’ll see that. There’s nothing else really to say besides that. Remembering back on what he did at Alabama or what he did in OTAs, just doesn’t have an awful lot. He’s healthy now in the best shape he can be. Mentally, he knows a lot more because of being able to observe but it’s a little bit more than that. I’m excited about him eventually getting out there. That’s about all I can tell you right now.”