They came from the offense and the defense.
The veterans and the rookies.
Everyone wanted to say hello to the hobbled Charles James, II on Friday in the locker room. The cornerback was on crutches, with one foot in a boot, after he went through foot surgery earlier in the week. His teammates couldn't stay away from him. The player nicknamed 'Happy Socks' couldn't wait to be back in one of his happy places.
"I put my butt on the line for these guys because I know they'd do the same for me," James said. "For us to bounce back from where we were in the beginning to now, is something special. I just wanted to be around, while it was going on. So, it's great."
From the experienced, like Shane Lechler and J.J. Watt, to the younger Texans like Jaelen Strong, to the one who joined the team just weeks ago in B.J. Daniels, they came by to wish him well, joke with him, and find out how he was doing.
"I've been handling everything pretty well," James said. "Unfortunately, I'm just pretty disappointed I can't be out here with these guys."
In Sunday's win at Tennessee, James left the game with a broken bone in his foot. He'd dealt with it for awhile, according to head coach Bill O'Brien.
"He's been playing on a fractured foot for over a month," O'Brien said on Monday. "He's been trying to gut it out and tough it out. He has done that. He's practiced and played and he's done a good job."
The Texans host the Jaguars on Sunday. James said he'll likely be at the game watching, but not on the field where he'd rather be.
"I love these guys," James said. "A lot of these guys are brothers to me and I treat them as family. For me to just go out there and give it for them, it was nothing for me."
James said he'll likely be off the crutches in two weeks, and will be in the boot for at least a month after that.
The former Charleston Southern cornerback made a name for himself in August, as he made key plays on special teams and was featured on HBO's 'Hard Knocks'. The Texans cut James in early September. He signed with the Baltimore practice squad, made the active roster, and then was cut in October. The Texans signed him to their 53-man squad and he played in the last nine games.
James recorded 14 tackles and was a key contributor on special teams.
The Houston Texans roster in photos. (Updated 4/12/2021)