The Texans are getting healthier as they come off a Week 10 victory at Chicago and prepare to face the Jacksonville Jaguars at Reliant Stadium.
Starting tight end Owen Daniels, starting nose tackle Shaun Cody and running back Ben Tate all might return from injuries this week, Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Monday. Daniels (back) and Cody (ribs) both sat out against the Bears. Tate (hamstring) has missed the last two games.
"Let's (start) with Tate and Owen, I guess put them in the same category," Kubiak said. "I would think Owen is probably a little bit further along. I think they both have a chance of playing in this game. We'll know more as we get to Wednesday and Thursday, but remember, Tate has been running with the trainers, so that's a move in the right direction. He's very close."
Daniels, who had 37 catches for 478 yards and five touchdowns in the first eight games, was ruled out 90 minutes before kickoff on Sunday after barely practicing last week. He worked out before the game at Soldier Field. Tate and Cody did not.
"We made the decision to hold him, but the fact that he worked up to that point trying to play tells you how close he is," Kubiak said. "We'll get him back rested here and get some treatment, see where we're at later on in the week."
Cody had played in 50 consecutive games, which was tied for sixth among NFL defensive tackles, before Sunday. He had started 52 of 56 games since 2009. Third-year nose tackle Earl Mitchell made his first-career start at Chicago and had four tackles.
"He's got an excellent chance of playing this week," Kubiak said. "We're going to do kind of a trial run on Wednesday with him with the trainers, how we would approach the game with him. If he's able to work through that situation, I think you could see him on the field probably Thursday or Friday. We're heading toward him being back active and being a part of it."
The Texans' most notable injuries on Sunday were to inside linebackers Tim Dobbins (shoulder) and Bradie James (thumb). Both players were injured during the game but returned after a brief absence.
"Dobbins is actually doing pretty good today," Kubiak said. "I think we're going to be touch-and-go throughout the course of the week. He's got a pretty good shoulder that we worked through. Boy, did he play well in the game, and has played well for us since Cush (Brian Cushing) went down. I think he could be midweek, late week before you see him on the field, but knowing Dobbins, I expect him to be there.
"Bradie just has a thumb issue that really he's dealt with throughout the course of his career. He has a thumb that will pop in and out at times. He finds a way to work through it, so I don't expect that to be any different."
The Texans also could get back inside linebacker Darryl Sharpton (quadriceps), who is still on the Physically Unable to Perform list but returned to practice last week. Sharpton's last regular-season game was against the Jaguars in Week 8 last season at Reliant Stadium.