Skip to main content

Camp report: Day 13


On Thursday, the Texans looked ready to start hitting people other than themselves. After going through a more Denver-specific practice in the morning, the team did a game walkthrough in the afternoon. The only cause for concern was a slew of injuries to the offensive line.

Offensive line takes a hit: Three offensive linemen sat out of Thursday's practice, leaving nine healthy bodies to prepare for the Broncos.

Left tackle Ephraim Salaam woke up with a sore knee and went through tests in the afternoon. It probably will be a game-time decision as to whether Salaam backs up rookie Duane Brown, who probably will play the entire first half.

The biggest loss comes at guard. Scott Jackson has been sidelined with plantar fasciitis, a painful foot injury, since the beginning of camp and there is no timetable for his return. Fred Weary has struggled to come back from the leg injury he suffered in December.

"The bottom line with Fred and Scott is when we lost them, we thought we were looking at a short period of time," coach Gary Kubiak said. "We thought they'd be back out here. And here we are, two weeks into it, and they're still over there on the bikes. That's not good for the team, and it's not good for their situation trying to make this team."

{QUOTE}Weary strained his hamstring several weeks ago and recently has been experiencing pain in the leg that he broke. He received a CT scan today. No official results have been released, but Kubiak believes Weary's pain is related to the placement of the screws in his leg.

"We're holding on, so to speak, trying to wait for both of them (Jackson and Weary) to get back healthy and now that process is getting rather lengthy," Kubiak said. "Our problems have been compounded a little bit up front. It's just something we got to deal with and work through. It's taking a lot of our time right now, (general manager) Rick (Smith) and my time, as we move forward here in camp."

Kubiak would like to have more than 11 healthy offensive linemen during the preseason so his starters don't get too worn down. The coach did not comment on whether he and Smith would look for other guards if Jackson and Weary fail to improve.

"I don't know if there's any magic number," Kubiak said. "I think every day is a new challenge, and right now the challenge is body numbers at offensive line that are out there banging and practicing every day and playing. Right now, we're going to this game with 11 and it's a little scary because we have a lot more preseason to play."

Boyd to be third QB: Shane Boyd will suit up as the third quarterback behind Matt Schaub and Sage Rosenfels against the Broncos. Rookie Alex Brink will sit out the game and most likely play the following week in New Orleans.

Kubiak plans to play Schaub and the starters for the first quarter. Rosenfels will play the second quarter and start the third. Then, Boyd will take over from there.

"We want to take a good look at Shane," Kubiak said. "I want to see everybody, and I'm excited to get out there and compete against somebody else. But we've got a lot of tough, tough decisions as coaches. So we've got to make sure it happens in that stadium and not always out here. We've got to go let them play and sort the thing out."

As of now, Kubiak would like to carry three quarterbacks on the active roster.

Denver to test run defense: It's no secret that the backbone of Denver's offense is their run game. The Broncos' premier back is second-year pro Selvin Young, a Houston native and University of Texas product who put together an impressive rookie campaign despite playing behind Travis Henry for most of the season. Young recorded 729 yards rushing and one touchdown and he will test the Texans' run defense.

Last season, Houston finished 19th against the run and allowed 114.1 yards per game. The defensive line has been committed to improving their play in the trenches and Saturday could allow the unit to test its progress.

Of course, most of the starters only will play in the first quarter, giving younger players like defensive tackle Frank Okam a chance to prove themselves against the run.

"You just want to give the guys an opportunity to compete for a job," tackle Amobi Okoye said. "That's pretty much what I think it is going to be like, but at the same time, you never know. A team could really be preparing for what they are trying to do during the season."

Molden on the mend: Rookie cornerback Antwaun Molden sat out of practice for a second straight day with a hip problem, but he should be ready come game time.

"I expect him to play," Kubiak said. "I did hold him out today, but he's going through walkthroughs this afternoon as if he's expected to play. Hopefully, he practices in the morning."

Molden has improved drastically in the preseason and started some in nickel. The coaches want him to get as much preseason game experience as possible.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content