Camp report: Day 14


The Texans made personnel moves on Friday to bolster an offensive line that has been hit with injuries. The team signed left tackle Torrin Tucker and released running back Mike Bell.

Salaam has knee scoped: Left tackle Ephraim Salaam underwent knee surgery Thursday afternoon to repair cartilage under his kneecap. Salaam is expected to be sidelined for the next three to four weeks but should be ready for the first regular-season game.

"He (Salaam) woke up in the morning and his knee had kind of locked up on him in his sleep," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "He said, 'Something's stuck in my knee.' So he comes in, we get the MRI. They see it, and they asked Ephraim where he was going and he said he was going to get some lunch. They said, 'Well you haven't eaten?', and he said, 'No, I haven't eaten all morning'. They said, 'Well, lets go get this thing done right now.'"

{QUOTE}The 11th-year pro crutched into Reliant Stadium Friday morning to meet with trainers and visit with teammates, all of whom expect Salaam to bounce back quickly.

"I mean the guy is 430 years old, you know, it's nothing to him," guard Chester Pitts said. "It's another day at the office. He'll be back in three weeks ready to go.

"He actually in Denver one time got his knee scoped the day after a game and played that next game. He heals really fast, so he'll be fine. He'll be ready to go when the season starts."

Left tackle Tucker signed: With Salaam on the sidelines, the Texans needed another body at left tackle. So they signed Torrin Tucker, who played at Dallas from 2003-05 before making brief stops in Tampa Bay and Oakland.

Tucker took a few reps with the team in the morning and will suit up against Denver, but he will only play in an emergency situation. The team would like Tucker to get in better shape and have more time to learn their blocking schemes.

"He looked good at his work out yesterday," Kubiak said. "But he's a very big man, and we would like to get him some work with us before we put him in that situation."

The Texans will carry four tackle into Saturday's game: Duane Brown, Brandon Frye, Rashad Butler and Eric Winston. Kubiak will keep Winston on the right side and plans to play Brown on the left for the entire first half. The coach doesn't like being so thin at the position, but he looks forward to seeing what he has in Butler and Frye as backups.

"It's a little scary because all of the sudden you go from having Scott Jackson, having Ephraim, you know, having all of those things fine, and then all of a sudden you are a little short handed," Kubiak said.

"I really see it, as tough as it is, as a great opportunity for Butler and Frye. We think that they're good young players. They're getting ready to play a ton of football, so we're going to find out."

Bell released: To make room on the roster for Tucker, the Texans released running back Mike Bell, who tweaked his hamstring in his first practice with the team. Bell was signed on July 31 when back Chris Brown was sidelined with a back injury. Bell became dispensable with Brown back in the lineup.

"We don't think he was physically quite with the rest of the team," Kubiak said of Bell. "You know, he had a little tweak. He has had it before. We worked him back and probably he could have went back on the field this morning. But because of our situation having to sign the tackle yesterday, we had to make a move."

Practice as usual: Aside from the personnel moves, it was business as usual for the team. Kubiak had the players go through an abbreviated practice and walk through before they headed to the team hotels.

To read more about what to look for in the preseason game, click here.

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