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49ers-Texans: Will J.J. Watt play on Saturday?

The Houston Texans will likely rest some of their starers on Saturday when they host the San Francisco 49ers. It seems unlikely the 49ers offensive line will get a chance to be tested by all-world defensive lineman J.J. Watt.

The short answer is probably not, but I'm not entirely sure. The San Francisco 49ers face a Houston Texans squad that has talent, but is dealing with a decent amount of turnover, to go along with injuries and other issues. J.J. Watt is the most notable player on the roster, but odds are pretty good he will not play against the 49ers.

I asked our friends at Battle Red Blog for any possible clarification on his status for Saturday, but they were not sure. They could confirm he did sit out early preseason action last year, so it would not be at all surprising to see him sit out this first game. That is kind of disappointing, as the 49ers offensive line needs every test it can get this preseason. They will see plenty of tests heading into the season, but getting a crack at Watt would be nice.

The Texans have apparently been pretty low key about who will play in Saturday's game. RB Arian Foster, OLB Jadeveon Clowney and OLB Reshard Cliett are all dealing with injuries, but other than that, we might not find out until tomorrow. Starters like DeAndre Hopkins, Duane Brown and Vince Wilfork will probably get fairly limited reps, and I imagine it won't be much different than the 49ers plan of getting starters upwards of one quarter's worth of action.

According to BRB, Alfred Blue is pencilled in as the starter in place of Arian Foster, and so backups Jonathan Grimes and Chris Polk will get a lot of playing time. Additionally, the expectation is Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett end up getting even reps. Tom Savage will also get work, but the starting competition is between Hoyer and Mallett, and apparently is not close to resolved. One late addition on Friday was this report from BRB: previously, the depth chart had listed the quarterbacks as Brian Hoyer OR Ryan Mallett, but on Friday, the OR was dropped. It would appear Hoyer is the guy who will handle the first team offense to start. My guess is both guys get some run with the first team.