For the second straght day, starting right guard Brandon Brooks was not on the practice field at the Houston Methodist Training Center. A toe injury has hobbled the second-year lineman, and it's unkown yet whether or not he'll play Sunday night at San Francisco.
"He's day-to-day," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "He's battling his toe. We kept him inside yesterday. He came out a little bit today and went back inside. But we'll see where we're at tomorrow."
Brooks was injured during Sunday's loss to Seattle, and if he doesn't play, fellow second-year offensive lineman Ben Jones would likely take his spot. Jones started at right guard for the bulk of 2012 as a rookie. This season, however, his work has been more limited and in relief of left guard Wade Smith.
"He did play some in the game," Kubiak said of Jones. "He spelled Wade for a couple series and he played well. We've got a lot of confidence in Ben."
Kubiak, as well as offensive coordinator Rick Dennison were both complimentary of Jones.
"He played a lot of football for us last year," Kubiak said. "I like Ben's energy. Ben loves to play. He's a young player just like Brandon. He brings a lot to our group when he's in there. He's ready to go if Brandon can't go. He's getting reps."
Jones was a three-year captain as a center at Georgia. In Week 2 last season at Jacksonville he was inserted as the team's right guard, and wound up being voted the Texans' rookie of the year by his teammates. His versatility, and ability to play both guard spots as well as center are big pluses for the Texans.
"I'm just happy to get in there and play, giving Wade a break or helping Brandon when he needs help out," Jones said. "Any time I can get in there and help out this team, I'm glad to help out."
Dennison said Jones' impact on the Texans was felt from the moment he joined the franchise in May of 2012.
"Ben, since he got here, has been a very bright guy," Dennison said. "He swings it inside and can handle all of the three (positions). He's really progressed. He'll be in sync with the rest of the guys up front because he's been practicing and played a lot last year."