The day after they beat the Cardinals, the Texans didn't practice. But they met Monday inside NRG Stadium, worked in the weight room, and rehabbed and regenerated in the training room, amongst other things. Head Coach DeMeco Ryans met with the media during an afternoon press conference a couple hours after linebacker Christian Harris, defensive tackle Maliek Collins and running back Devin Singletary did the same. Here are a few nuggets of news from their time with the media.
Pierce to return this week?
Running back Dameon Pierce has missed the last three games because of an ankle injury, but he was a limited participant in Friday's practice. There's a chance he could play this Sunday against the Jaguars. Singletary's gained over 100 yards on the ground in each of the last two wins and was the AFC Offensive Player of the Week at Cincinnati.
Ryans is looking forward to Pierce's return, whenever that may occur.
"We'll see how Dameon goes, how he practices for the week," Ryans said. "It's encouraging to have him back. Dameon has been a really good player for us. To have Dameon and have Motor, that's a good problem to have. We'll figure it out."
Singletary explained how the run game's been able to flourish the last two weeks, emphasizing how it's been a collective effort that's allowed him to rush for a combined 262 yards in two weeks.
"Good rhythm," Singletary said. "Everybody's getting in a groove. Everybody's on the same page, trusting each other and communicating well. It's all 11 of us just doing our job. That's the biggest thing."
The Texans and Jaguars have played each other 43 times. Houston's won 29 of those games. But the two teams have never both had records above .500 when playing each other in November or December. A win Sunday would slide Houston into first place in the AFC South.
It's a big game for sure, but the coaches and players explained they aren't treating this week any differently.
"It's the same approach every week," Harris said. "Especially with this new team, new coaching staff and everything. We're just trying to dominate, every week. Go 1-0 every week. I don't think we should sit here and try and make everything bigger than what it is, or listen to the rat poison or the crowd noise on the outside. I think if we stay focused on what we're doing, we'll like the outcome."
Ryans has coached in numerous big games as an assistant, including a Super Bowl with San Francisco, and he echoed his young linebacker.
"Our approach to practice, it shouldn't change," Ryans said. "It's the same approach we had last week. It's just being focused on yourself, first and foremost. Cleaning up the mistakes you had in this last game. That's been the focus."
The Texans defense shined in Sunday's win, holding Arizona to just 16 points on the day. After the Cardinals scored a touchdown late in the third quarter to pull within five points, the Texans defense forced a trio of turnover on downs in the fourth quarter.
It was an exhilarating finish, and according to Collins, the defense should only improve.
"I think we're still climbing," Collins said. "People are coming back from injuries. People are getting better. I think the best football is still in front of us. We're just going to keep getting better. That's the goal."
Welcome back, Des
Desmond King, II is back with the Texans. The defensive back started a combined 25 games with Houston in 2021 and 2022, and was released at the end of the preseason this August. He appeared in three games with the Steelers, but signed with the practice squad this afternoon.