The Texans continue to add to their injured reserve list, which is one of the longest in the NFL. On Monday, head coach Gary Kubiak talked to the media about the injured players and how the team would fill their spots.
O-line moves: Rookie guard Kasey Studdard will likely start the Texans' final four games of the season. The University of Texas product made his first appearance of the year on offense Sunday, replacing Fred Weary who broke the tibia in his right leg and underwent surgery Monday.
Head coach Gary Kubiak has liked what he has seen from Studdard so far this year. The guard is known as being a fierce competitor, but the head coach worries about the rookie's lack of experience.
"He's an ornery kid, he gets after people," Kubiak said. "I'm nervous about his experience and those type of things - the mental aspects that go with playing that position at a very young age, especially against some of these groups that we're fixing to face. He's going to have to step to the plate like a lot of our young kids have had to."
Studdard played on the left side of the offensive line for most of his college career, but he will move to the right to fill in for Weary. And Studdard will have big shoes to fill in taking Weary's spot.
"That guy (Weary) means a lot to our team," Kubiak said. "He's the first on the field, the last one to leave. Fred loves to play. He's played really well for us. We're going to really, really miss him."
The head coach will start working in offensive tackle Brandon Frye, who moved up from the practice squad in October. Offensive guard Mike Brisiel could also be signed from the practice squad to the active roster.
Brisiel is also the only other person on the team with experience snapping the football. With backup center Chirs White going down for the season with a left knee injury, the Texans desperately need a reserve for starter Mike Flanagan.
"Yesterday we not only lost our starting guard, but we lost his backup and our backup center," Kubiak said. "So when you think about what Chris White was doing for you, you're talking about really three spots instead of one spot. We're going to really have to juggle our group."
Kubiak and general manager Rick Smith have been looking at practice squads and available players around the league and will make personnel decisions in the next few days.
Quarterback options: Quarterback Matt Schaub received an MRI Monday morning for the left shoulder he dislocated Sunday on a sack. Schaub is wearing a sling and his return date has not been determined.
"Whether we're talking about the next four weeks or not, I don't think we're at that stage," Kubiak said. "I think it's very hopeful that he does come back and play some more this year, but it's going to be day-to-day and it's not very good today."
Sage Rosenfels relieved Schaub against the Titans and threw for 185 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Andre Johnson. Rosenfels will start in place of Schaub if he misses time.
The Texans inquired about re-signing quarterback Craig Nall, who briefly joined the team after Schaub suffered a concussion. However, Nall was signed by the Green Bay Packers last week after Brett Farve suffered a shoulder injury.
That leaves the Texans with practice squad quarterback Shane Boyd. The second-year player has seen limited action on an NFL field.
"I don't know if he's ready, but he's got to be," Kubiak said. "You know, we've got to as coaches sit down and decide what he does best and if he goes into the game as a backup to Sage, I'm sure we'll be limited in what he can do and what we have to do with him, so that is a challenge."
Green's progress: Running back Ahman Green, who has been inactive for the last three games and has battled a knee injury since Week 2, must make progress before Sunday. With the Texans' roster depleted by injuries, the Texans need his spot to replace an offensive lineman.
"I think we're definitely at a week this week where the decision or the process needs to be sped up," Kubiak said of Green. "I like what I saw last week. He practiced well on Friday taking the scout team."
The Pro Bowler worked out Monday, and his knee will be evaluated on Wednesday.
"We're going to see where he's at Wednesday, but I think it's pretty important that he gets on the field this week," Kubiak said. "If not, then we're probably going to have to make a decision."
Other injuries:Linebacker Danny Clark did not play Sunday because of strained groin. Trainers worked on him at LP Field before the game, but the outside linebacker was not ready to go. He will continue to be listed as day-to-day.
"Our biggest hope for him was that maybe he could have been a backup yesterday," Kubiak said. "There was no chance. He was not close. It would not have been very smart to put him on the field. Today, he's not a lot better. He still has some problems."
Running back Ron Dayne rolled his ankle Sunday. He will sit out of practices this week, but is expected to play against the Buccaneers.