– The Texans Sunday morning practice was lively especially with a crowd of several thousand onlookers consisting of hopeful season ticket holders. (Members of the Texans season ticket waiting list were in the stands taking in the morning practice. Also lively for Darryl Sharpton, Texans inside linebacker who was practicing for the first time. Brian Cushing was taking part in team drills for the first time and on the other end of the spectrum, DE J.J. Watt was not.
Before I give you the injury update on all of that, here’s my conversation with veteran tight end Owen Daniels. He begins his 8th year in the NFL, all with the Texans and all with Gary Kubiak.
– Watt wasn’t working through team drills this morning and explained, “(My) elbow is a little sore so the brace is back. It’s just precaution,” Watt said. “I just want to be smart with it.” He played all of his breakout 2012 season with the elbow brace after hurting it early in training camp last season. He and coach Gary Kubiak sounded very unconcerned. “His elbow’s just sore,” Kubiak explained. “We brought him out here to practice today, wanted to keep him out of contact. As y’all could see, the majority of practice was contact.”
It seems pretty obvious you want to err on the side of caution and as Watt indicated, this team is trying to be smart with any injuries when they are dealing with players who are established and are clearly not fighting for snaps. I think that is clearly what you are seeing team-wide. The same theory seems to be applied to several players.
– Brian Cushing’s involvement in practice was ramped up today as has been the plan all-along. “Yeah, he’s basically a full-time participant now. We’re going to keep him out of certain drills where we’re doing a lot of contact,”Kubiak said. “For the most part, he’s a full-time participant.”
– Arian Foster had been expected back at practice, but as Kubiak explained, his calf is fine, but is back was sore. Ben Tate also was held out of practice. Clearly with the first preseason game scheduled for Friday night in Minnesota against the Vikings, the battle for the third running back job with be on full display. Expect a heavy does of Arkansas rookie Dennis Johnson, Notre Dame rookie Cierre Wood and NFL veteran Deji Karim to get a lot of work throughout the contest.
– One other injury note: Inside linebacker Darryl Sharpton practiced for the first time. He had reported to camp with a sore groin and this was his first day working with the rest of the team. As I was talking with Danieal Manning, I noted to him that it looks a whole different in front of him compared to the start of camp. Tim Dobbins and Cameron Collins were the top inside linebackers on the field when camp began nine days ago. Essentially now each of those two take their reps behind Cushing, Sharpton and recently signed free agent Joe Mays.
– Wex (@awexler)