Typically, the third NFL preseason game is the most like a regular season game. Starters will get a chunk of reps before sitting out of Week 4 to rest up for the regular season opener.
Under Bill O'Brien, this may change. With the team heading into its second week of joint practices, players may get their work in before Saturday's preseason game even rolls around. Last week, O'Brien was pleased with the reps and workload in joint practices against the Atlanta Falcons. It's part of the reason why the coaching staff decided to let starters like J.J. Watt, Chris Myers, and Duane Brown sit out of Saturday's game against the Falcons.
"When you looked at the reps, it was basically a game and a half for a lot of those guys," O'Brien said Sunday. "Chris (Myers) and Duane (Brown) and J.J. (Watt) and a couple of other guys there that didn't plays as much last night. Those three guys didn't play at all. Ben Jones got a ton of reps. He played two series last night. So, we felt like they got so much work during the week that it was a little bit different. OK, they got their competitive work against (Jonathan) Babineaux, (Paul) Soliai and those guys, so let's go ahead and not play them in the game. That was a staff decision and I thought it was the right thing to do."
The Texans head to Denver on Monday for three days of joint practices with the Broncos before Saturday's preseason game (8 p.m CT, KTRK ABC-13, SportsRadio 610). Much like last week's matchups with the Falcons, Houston will gear up for another competitive week with starters seeing the majority of action before game time.
"We'll see how it goes this week, but it will be, the first two practices are full pads as its planned right now, Tuesday and Wednesday, so we'll get a ton of reps with our first group," O'Brien said. "So we'll look at it. We just talked about it our meeting. We'll look at it towards the end of the week and decide at that point like we did this week. I see it going in a similar way."