Alfred Blue returned to practice Monday after missing the first two preseason games with a shoulder injury.
"He looked good," head coach Bill O'Brien said after practice. "He's a good guy and he's out there. He had a shoulder deal. We just want to bring these guys back when they are ready to play and he's ready to play, so he'll be back in there this week."
The third-year running back traveled with the team to Santa Clara but did not play in the preseason opener against the 49ers. Last week he missed joint practice and preseason action with the Saints. For Blue, it was hard not to be taking valuable reps for the past week in practice.
"It was very tough, man," Blue said. "Just to sit back there around this time is real tough because this time of year, you got to go out there and make the team."
Last season, Blue saw action in all 16 games last year with nine starts. He rushed for a career-high 698 yards and two touchdowns, while recording 109 yards receiving and one receiving touchdown. He also made his postseason debut, rushing for 99 yards in the Wild Card Game against Kansas City.
Currently ranked seventh in Texans history with 1,226 career rushing yards, Blue isn't taking his roster spot for granted.
"I feel like every year I have to make the team," Blue said. "It doesn't matter how many years you've been here. You've got to come in every year and make the team because there's always somebody coming, gunning for you. That's my mentality."
The Texans will host the Arizona Cardinals in a nationally-televised preseason game on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on FOX-26 and SportsRadio 610.
Take a look at some of the best shots from Monday's practice inside NRG Stadium.