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A Big Relief

Who's tougher than Duane Brown? Houston Texans lifeline shrugs off leg injury

Duane Brown Texans
Duane Brown is a life block of the Houston Texans offense. Photo by Michelle Watson/CultureMapSnap

When Duane Brown lay on the field, clutching his right knee, you could excuse any heart palpitations in Reliant Stadium. After all, Brown is arguably the best left tackle in the NFL — and inarguably one of the Houston Texans' offensive lifelines.

Gary Kubiak's offense would run a lot different without No. 76.

Brown appeared to hurt the knee on a freak second quarter play in Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans. His teammate — and fellow Pro Bowler — Wade Smith rolled into Brown's leg on a play. And for several moments, Brown stayed on his back on the field as quarterback Matt Schaub and other Texans gathered anxiously around him.

 Brown runs out for the very first play of the next series — and plays on like nothing happened. You expected anything less? 

He'd gingerly walk off under his own power and take a spot on the bench, where an army of team medical personnel gathered around him. His right knee and lower leg received most of the focus. His right foot ended up getting an extensive tape job.

So what happens?

Brown runs out onto the field for the very first play of the Texans' next offensive series — and plays on like nothing happened. You expected anything less?

The 6-foot-4, 303-pound Brown has started 82 of the 86 games (regular season and playoffs) the Texans have played over the last five-plus seasons. And the only four games he missed were the result of an NFL performance-enhancing drug suspension.

Duane Brown always answers the bell. A freak play wasn't going to keep him down.  

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