The Houston Texans have an important training camp ahead of them in preparation for the 2021 season, after a controversial offseason. When does it start, where will it be held, and are fans allowed to attend?
With phase 3 of the 2021 NFL offseason set to wrap up on June 18th, teams are already looking forward to training camp. It is by far the most grueling and pivotal part of a team’s preparations.
Training camps often include busy days for players and coaches, sometimes with 2 practices a day, weight training, team meetings, and film sessions.
Per the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), no contact is permitted during the first 3 days of camp. Days 4 and 5 will see players at full speed in light equipment called “spiders and shells”, day 6 is a mandatory day off, and finally fully-padded practices start on the 7th day.
Along with the strenuous schedule, full-speed practices mean that both contact and non-contact injuries are very common. Regardless, training camp is mandatory for all players unlike OTAs which are voluntary. If a player doesn’t show up, they risk getting cut by their team.
When Does Training Camp Start for the Houston Texans?
For the first time in NFL history, there will be a unified start for training camp. 29 franchises, including the Texans, will kickoff their training camps on Tuesday, July 27th.
The Cowboys and Steelers, who will play in the preseason Hall of Fame game, are allowed to begin training camp as early as July 21st. The Buccaneers will also be allowed to start training camp 3 days earlier on the 24th, as they play the season opener against Dallas on a Thursday night.
For the first time, the NFL will have a unified start to training camp, with 29 teams set to report Tuesday, July 27 — 47 days before the Sunday of Week 1, as allowed by the CBA — and plans for league-wide practices and fan events Saturday, July 31.
Midsummer Madness, anyone?
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 25, 2021
The #Cowboys and #Steelers can report as early as July 21 because of the hall of fame game. The #Bucs can report July 24 because of a Thursday opener. Players from the other 29 teams are required to report July 27, per the CBA.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 25, 2021
Where is the Houston Texans Camp Being Held?
Normally, NFL teams are permitted to hold training camp at outside facilities to improve accessibility for fans, However last year, due to the uncertainty caused by the COVID pandemic, teams were instructed to conduct camp at their own training facilities.
With the situation looking a little more optimistic, the league has informed teams they can return to outside facilities, should they choose to do so.
The Texans won’t have to travel far for their training camp. Houston will be holding its training camp at the Houston Methodist Training Center in Houston, Texans.
The Texans will return to the Methodist Training Center after holding it in the same location from 2019-20. The venue offers a return to familiarity as the team also used the same practice field from 2006 to 2016.
Houston Texans Training Camp Roster: Key Position Battles to Watch
As usual, teams will start camp with 90-man rosters. They must cut down to 85 players by August 17th and to 80 by August 24th, before settling on a final 53-man roster by August 31st.
The uncertainty surrounding the Texans quarterback position means that there’ll likely be some competition in training camp. The Texans cancelled minicamp just so Deshaun Watson wouldn’t be fined for missing it. That should give you an indication of whether you’ll see him in training camp.
The other quarterbacks on the Texans roster are Tyrod Taylor, third round draft pick Davis Mills, and Jeff Driskel. Considering these options, it’s safe to say that Taylor will definitely be starting coming out of camp. He has experience, and he isn’t a bad player when given the opportunity to produce.
Mills is a long term project for Houston, insurance for the future in case Deshaun Watson is eventually traded. He’s incredibly raw and there’s a long way to go before he can start meaningful games.
The other major battle in training camp will be at the running back position for the Texans. The Texans have a plethora of running backs at their disposal. David Johnson is still on the roster after a disappointing year last season.
The Texans also signed Mark Ingram, Phillip Lindsay, and Rex Burkhead to fill out the position. Who will start? Ingram and Johnson may be past their primes, opening up an opportunity for the always explosive Lindsay to come and take majority of the carries.
Burkhead will likely come in as a receiving back since that’s the primary role he’s played with the New England Patriots in the last few seasons.
The biggest training camp battle for the Texans, however, will be at the cornerback position. The Texans lack a true CB1 to match up against their opponent’s best receivers. Vernon Hargreaves finished the year with a dismal 41.2 grade.
After cornerback Bradley Roby went down with an injury, backup Phillip Gaines wasn’t much better either, earning only a 59.9 grade. Houston chose not to draft any corners in the 2021 NFL draft, but they did sign Desmond King and Terrance Mitchell. However, neither of them are impressive enough to claim a stronghold on a starting spot.
Will Fans Be Allowed to Attend Texans Training Camp?
The NFL is planning to have fans at all training camps, with fan events scheduled to start on July 31st. The Texans are also set to host fans for training camp.
An official policy on how many fans will be allowed hasn’t been released yet by the team, but considering the fact that Texas has dropped its mask mandate and that fans will be back at NRG Stadium at a 100% capacity, you can expect training camp to be full of Houston fans.