The Texans welcomed Arian Foster back to practice on Wednesday morning at the Methodist Training Center. The running back had nursed a hamstring injury for more than a week, unable to practice since August 5, and was delighted to be back with his teammates.
"I felt like myself," Foster said. "I felt good on my cuts, but like I said earlier, we're just going to take it day by day. I'm not going to push it 100 percent so we'll just go about that."
For head coach Gary Kubiak, the return of Foster bolsters a running backs corps that's been thinned out by injury.
"I thought he looked good," Kubiak said. "We told him to be smart when he came out here today. It looked like he was fine, so hopefully every day's a progression and we work towards Saturday night."
At the night practice, Derrick Ward was back on the field with the team as well. Ward suffered a concussion in the first half of the Jets game, but returned to work this evening. Ben Tate also went through work in the second practice of the day too. Tate and Steve Slaton have both been sidelined with hamstring injuries in the last week.
Night Moves: The first night practice of camp was Wednesday, and it came out of necessity. Since the players had the NFL-mandated day off following the Jets game, Kubiak and the coaches spent the bulk of Wednesday correcting mistakes from that contest. They then worked on the Saints game plan in the late afternoon before going to work on it on the practice field.
Despite the long hours, Kubiak said he was impressed by what his team went through Wednesday.
"It's been a hell of a day for them, but they handled it pretty good," Kubiak said.
Health Check: Linebacker DeMeco Ryans had an MRI on his swollen elbow, but was with the team for the night practice. He said he's feeling better, and will take it "day by day".
Linebacker Cheta Ozougwu (concussion) was out today, but Kubiak said the former Rice Owl is "doing great" and will return on Thursday.
Guard Kasey Studdard has a "severe ankle sprain", according to Kubiak, who also added that the Texans would know more about the severity of Studdard's injury by Thursday.
Quotable: "62. It's a science, man. It's a science."
--Foster, on how many reps he'll need in the preseason to be ready for the regular season.
"They like to move quicker, cut down that back side within the zone schemes. They all like to keep it flowing and they're all smart. They've been together. They play with each other, so that's always a plus when you have an O-line that knows each other."
--Fullback Lawrence Vickers on how impressed he is by the Texans' offensive line.