Cecil Shorts III is preparing for a homecoming against the team that drafted him and where he spent the first four years of his NFL career. Shorts, injured on the final offensive play in Atlanta, is making strides to make his return this Sunday against Jacksonville.
"This game is important just like every other game is important, you know what I mean," Shorts said Wednesday. "I had some good years in Jacksonville so it will be fun to go back there and play against them guys."
Shorts returned to practice on Wednesday. Head coach Bill O'Brien believes Shorts should be good to go against the Jaguars. The fifth year wide receiver missed just one game against Indianapolis with the shoulder injury.
"Very tough guy, tough guy, strong player, and he was out there today practicing," O'Brien said. "We were in pads today, so he was out there full go."
Signed this offseason as a free agent, he's become a versatile receiving threat for the Texans. Shorts is also one of the first guys to put in extra time, according to offensive coordinator George Godsey, which contributes to his quick return from the injury.
"He did a good job for us in the games that he was available," Godsey said. "Some crucial third-down plays, getting open versus man-to-man. I know he'll be going back home, but for him it's just like another week as far as playing and game planning preparation. When he is out there, it's good to have him."
Through his four games as a Texan, Shorts has 22 receptions for 236 yards and one touchdown and has returned punts in Weeks 4 and 5 against Tampa Bay and Atlanta. Shorts, drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 Draft, started 34-of-50 games during his first four seasons with the Jaguars, leading the team in receptions (176), receiving yards (2,343) and touchdowns (12) since entering the NFL.
The Texans will travel to Jacksonville for a noon (C.T.) kickoff on CBS KHOU-11 and SportsRadio 610.