Texans coach Gary Kubiak announced Friday that rookie Darryl Sharpton will start at weakside linebacker against the Titans on Sunday.
Zac Diles, who started the first nine games of the season, missed last Sunday's game against the Jets because of an irregular heartbeat. Sharpton got his first-career start and recorded five tackles.
"Zac's good to go," Kubiak said. "He's had a good week. We're going to play them both. He and Sharpton will play. Sharpton played really well in the game and deserves to go out there and play some more with what he did, so we'll play them both."
Last Thursday, Diles spent the night in a hospital after feeling discomfort in his chest in the morning. He took medication for a few days to slow his heart rate and reduce his blood pressure. He's fine now, having practiced every day this week without limitation.
Sharpton, a fourth-round draft pick out of Miami (Fla.), played sparsely before filling in for Diles last week.
"This is a league of opportunity," Kubiak said. "Sometimes, you get it in the craziest ways. He went out there and played 40-something plays last week. We as a defense played one of our better games of the year, and you've got to give the kid a lot of credit. He deserves a chance to go out there and continue to help us get better."
In his first start, Sharpton went against running back LaDainian Tomlinson. Now he gets Chris Johnson.
"It's exciting," Sharpton said. "Those are guys that you always see all over ESPN and NFL Network and all that, so it's good to get out there and play against those guys."
Daniels out againTight end Owen Daniels was ruled out because of a hamstring injury for the fourth consecutive week.
"He will not play," Kubiak said. "We're hoping maybe there's still a chance for next week. We'll see where we're at Monday morning with him, but (he's) not quite ready yet."
Linebacker Xavier Adibi (hamstring) and defensive end Jesse Nading (knee) also were ruled out. Wide receiver David Anderson (hamstring) and defensive tackle Shaun Cody (illness) are listed as questionable after being limited in practice on Thursday and Friday.
Johnson "like his old self"Wide receiver Andre Johnson (ankle) practiced fully all week. The last time he was healthy enough to do so was before the Texans' Week 8 game at Indianapolis, when the Texans were coming off their bye.
"Last week, he didn't get many opportunities to catch a lot of balls (four catches for 32 yards at New York), but he played very hard in the game," Kubiak said. "He got the ultimate respect in football, in my opinion, when he got the best corner in football (Darrelle Revis) and they gave him help over the top.
"He's just back to himself again. I think past week, he's looked like his old self. He played hurt for this team for five weeks this year."