Quick-hit notes and observations from a light morning practice at Texans Training Camp presented by Comcast, including a couple of friendly pranks:
- Linebacker Brian Cushing was not at practice this morning. "He had some personal business that I knew about when we started camp that he had to take care of," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "He had to take a day off, and I told him to get it done today… It's no big deal. It's something I knew that had to get done." Kubiak said that Cushing will re-join the team this evening but probably will not be at practice in the afternoon.
- The Texans continued to be down about 10 injured players, including defensive ends Mario Williams and Pannel Egboh and linebackers Xavier Adibi and Zac Diles. As such, this morning's practice was a light one. "I took the pads off of them to try to regroup their bodies here before we make a big push toward the weekend, but we had a good practice," Kubiak said. "We had six linebackers practicing, and they practiced very well."
- Adibi is expected to compete for Cushing's starting strongside linebacker job in the first four games, but he has missed the past two days with a groin strain. "X has been on the shelf, and he has been there a few times during his career," Kubiak said. "We've got to find a way to keep him healthy on the field." Kubiak singled out linebacker Darnell Bing as having a "great morning" of practice. Rookie linebacker Darryl Sharpton also flashed with a couple of nice plays; more on him later today in a "Rookie Watch" blog post.
- "Up and down" was how Kubiak characterized the play of backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky, who's in his second training camp with the Texans. "He's doing a lot of the things much better than he did last year," Kubiak said. "There's still some lapses sometimes from a standpoint of being consistent… He's got to find that level of consistency with his amount of reps."
- Wide receiver Kevin Walter is celebrating his 29th birthday today, and he got a Major League Baseball-style pie in the face during an interview after practice from quarterback Matt Schaub. "They got me," Walter said. "They definitely got me. It's all in my eye, too. I think it's like lemon meringue or something, but I don't know. It's like lemon lime." Here's a photo that I tweeted after practice.
- Finally, somebody played a practical joke on 5-5, 165-pound rookie wide receiver Trindon Holliday, who's out with a hamstring injury. Take a look at the exercise bikes on the Texans' sideline. I didn't catch who the culprit was, but it's not the first time Holliday has gotten some friendly ribbing from his teammates. Somebody left a booster seat at his locker during organized team activities. Word is, though, that the sixth-round pick out of LSU is taking his lumps with a smile and no hard feelings.