Left tackle Duane Brown returns to Texans, ending holdout

Coming off their bye week, the Houston Texans got better.

Veteran left tackle Duane Brown, who has stayed away from the team for months in a contract holdout, reported to the team facility on Monday.

Brown, a first-round pick in 2008 who is a three-time Pro Bowler, one-time All-Pro and the best offensive lineman the Texans have, had stayed away from the team since Houston’s loss to New England in the playoffs in January. He did return to the city to participate in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

Texans offensive tackle Duane Brown ended his holdout on Monday, after staying away from the team for months. (AP)

He missed six games, which means he missed out on $3.3 million in salary, and has also accrued fines which can be levied by the Texans because he skipped mandatory minicamp, training camp and games. However, collecting that money is at the team’s discretion, and Houston may have waived them as a way of getting Brown back into the building.

The Texans also would not be able to collect the fines if Brown is traded by the Oct. 31 deadline.

Brown has $6.1 million in base salary remaining this season.

By league rule, players must play at least six games for an accrued season; had he not reported by then, Brown’s contract, which is currently set to end in 2018, would have tolled and not ended until 2019.

Brown is known to keep himself in excellent shape, but Houston can get a two-week roster exemption to get him into game condition before having to put him on the 53-man roster.

He told reporters Monday, “I’m ready.”

Longtime Texans beat writer John McClain of the Houston Chronicle wrote that Brown will re-enter the starting lineup at left tackle once coaches determine he’s ready. Last year, Brown allowed just one sack.

Veteran Chris Clark has been starting at left tackle in Brown’s stead; Clark may be flipped to right tackle once Brown begins playing.

The Texans, behind rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson, are 3-3.

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