With the Texans down to two tight ends after Anthony Hill joined Owen Daniels on injured reserve last week, rookie defensive end Connor Barwin could be used as an emergency tight end today.
The Texans are going to be careful not to stunt the progress that Barwin, a tight end for his first three seasons at Cincinnati, has made on defense. The second-round draft pick has 2.5 sacks in just his second year playing defensive end. Backup swing tackle Rashad Butler also could line up as a third tight end.
Starting tight end Joel Dreessen, who has a banged-up shoulder, is expected to play today.
"He's fine," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Friday. "He practiced all week and he's good to go. He'll be OK. Joel is just beat up, but he'll make it."