Texans Monday Madness

Texans team news and notes.

Where have you gone Billy Miller?
   Miller, the Texans' starting tight end, was one of the quarterback David Carr's favorite targets last season. Through three weeks, Miller has only seven receptions for 40 yards.
   The decrease in looks can be attributed to the arrival of first-round draft choice Andre Johnson, who is off to a quick start in his rookie season. Johnson leads the team in every receiving category and has become the go-to player for Carr in crunch situations early in the season.
   "We certainly still like Billy," coach Dom Capers said. "We think he gives us a receiving tight end. The last half of last season with Corey Bradford injured, Billy Miller was the guy."
   The Texans signed Miller to a four-year contract worth $4 million on Sept. 9.
   Last season, Miller caught a team- and career-high 51 receptions for 613 yards and three touchdowns. He joined Baltimore's Todd Heap and Arizona's Freddie Jones as the only tight ends to lead their respective teams in receptions last season. He ranked sixth among NFL tight ends in receptions.
   During the final six weeks of the season, Miller was one of the top tight ends in the league with 25 receptions for 293 yards.
   He was expected to share the tight end duties this season with second-round draft choice Bennie Joppru. Joppru is out for the season after surgery in August to correct a pelvic hernia.
   "We went to Billy more than anybody (last season)," Capers said. "Now all of a sudden you add a guy like Andre Johnson. Billy will continue to factor into our game plans. He might not get all the balls he got the year before because I think we have more people to spread the ball around to."
   --DE Gary Walker played in his first game since suffering a sprained left shoulder Aug. 15 in a preseason game. Walker was used primarily on third down pass-rush situations. "I'm not 100 percent, but you will never find players that play in this league who are 100 percent healthy," he said. "I still have a long way to go."
   --Veteran DL Steve Martin got significant playing time against the Chiefs despite being on the roster less than a week. The Texans have been hit hard on the defensive line due to injuries to DE Gary Walker and NT Seth Payne. "My body felt better than I thought it would," Martin said. "I made a couple of mistakes, but overall I thought it was OK for the first game."
   -- LB Jay Foreman injured his hand during the first half Sunday but returned to the game.
   -- G Todd Washington, who is filling in for starter Milford Brown, suffered a minor ankle injury in the fourth quarter and was replaced by Fred Weary.
   -- LB Jamie Sharper will be held out of workouts Wednesday with a sore back. The injury is not considered serious, coach Dom Capers said.
   -- RB Domanick Davis continues to be slowed by a groin injury that sidelined him for Sunday's game against the Chiefs. His status for this weekend's game against Jacksonville is uncertain.

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