Texans punter Donnie Jones did not practice on Wednesday because of a knee contusion in his right (non-kicking) leg, but he is fully expected to be OK to play against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at Reliant Stadium.
The left-footed punter was injured while making a tackle on a punt return in the first quarter at New England on Monday. Texans coach Gary Kubiak said his absence from practice was preventative.
"It's the plant leg," Kubiak said. "Got it banged pretty good. I think if we needed him to punt today, he'd punt, but we rested him."
Jones, who is averaging a franchise-record 46.9 yards and 40.4 net yards per punt this season, said his right leg is "just swollen and stiff" and would not affect him in Sunday's game.
"I'd have to have a broken leg not to play on Sunday," Jones said. "It's part of it. We don't usually tackle often, and when we do, all the guys give me a little grief… I told those guys, I said, 'Look, you guys are NFL football players, I'm not.' So when I get a little bruise or something, it is what it is. I know my role. But it's all in good fun."
Texans inside linebacker Darryl Sharpton, cornerback Alan Ball and outside linebacker Brooks Reed also did not practice on Wednesday. Sharpton has a swollen toe. Kubiak said Ball is "in the same boat he was last week at this point." Ball was listed as day-to-day last week but did not practice and was inactive for the second consecutive game.
Reed is still working his way back from a Thanksgiving Day groin injury. The Texans are hoping he can return sometime before the playoffs.
"He's working with the trainers," Kubiak said. "He's running. He's doing pretty darn good. We knew we were looking at a period of time, at least a few weeks. He's getting closer. Until he starts doing some drill-specific stuff, then that's still another step he's got to take to get back on the field. We know we're going to get him back. He's definitely going to be back, and we're working in that direction."
Starting right tackle Derek Newton was limited on Wednesday, a light practice day for the Texans this week. Kubiak said it was his best day since injuring his right knee at Detroit in Week 12 and that Newton is "definitely headed toward being ready to go." Tight end Garrett Graham, who sat out Monday night with a concussion, was a full participant at Wednesday's practice. He has one more concussion test to pass before being cleared to play in a game.