The Houston Texans opened their three day practice schedule on Tuesday against the Denver Broncos in preparation for their Saturday pre season game. The big news of the day was the return of some familiar faces in Brian Cushing, Brandon Brooks, Johnathan Joseph, Andre Johnson and Arian Foster.
All of them were dealing with their own respective setbacks, but this is a welcomed sight to Head Coach Bill O’Brien. He talked about his conversations
with each of them regarding their situation, “I feel good. These guys are honest about where they’re at. They want to be out here. They know how important
practice is but they also know how important the health of the team is. And so I feel good about their, my conversations with them about their help.”
Brandon Brooks, activated today after passing his physical, took part in individual drills and will rely on the training staff on when he will take full
practice reps. Brooks talked about his timetable for a full return, “I’m just going to take it one rep, every day, at a time. I’m starting from square one
and have got to play catch up, but at the same time after practice I got some extra reps today in different pass pro.” Brooks continued, “Any chance I get
to get an extra rep in any practice I can, I need to do it.”
Ryan Fitzpatrick took notice of the familiar faces in the huddle in Johnson and Foster and the starting quarterback stated, “It’s nice to have guys out
there working in practice and it’s one of those things where I’ve got to be able to communicate with them.” Fitzpatrick talked about the importance with
his star wide receiver, “With Andre, a lot of it has been after series or whatever it is talking to him on the sideline. It’s nice to have him in the
Running back Arian Foster was back to normal and working out of the backfield with the starting offense. He took a full workload in the joint practice
after being limited last week when the Atlanta Falcons visited Houston.
The elder statesman of the secondary in Johnathan Joseph was pleased with his first real work with his team since the start of training camp. Joseph said,
“It felt great just to be back out there with my teammates. You know, getting in and getting some good work. Just a blessing to be back out there.”
Along with Joseph, Brian Cushing was a full go during practice before he was pulled back during the team sessions with the Denver Broncos with no real
issues of movement coming off his leg injury. Cushing will have to work to get into football shape over the next two weeks in order to get ready for the
O’Brien is very aware of some of the most important pieces of his team coming back from injury and time will tell on how quickly they can catch up with the
amount of practice they have missed.
The Texans are set to get into full pads with the Broncos on Wednesday after they spent the afternoon practice in helmets and shorts. With the amount of
controlled hitting the Texans and Broncos are set to do, this could change things on Saturday’s pre season game on who will exactly play.
Despite the absence, getting them on the field was priority number one. O’Brien likes what this means for the Texans, “They practiced more than they had and that’s a good sign for our football team.”