After uncertainty at the center position heading into Denver, the Houston Texans made roster moves this week to address Justin Britt's absence. Britt, who started 11 games last year, was placed on the Non-Football Illness list and is expected to miss "a period of time," according to Head Coach Lovie Smith.
"It's kind of cut and dry. As far as team is concerned, we have a teammate that won't be with us for a while," Smith said. "Just like there's an injury, when a teammate is not going to be with you for awhile, it's about the next guy stepping up. Scott Quessenberry stepped us last week. We feel like we have depth there and we're giving Justin (Britt) everything he possibly needs to handle his situation."
After starting in the season opener against the Indianapolis Colts, Britt missed three consecutive practices leading up to Houston's 16-9 loss to the Denver Broncos. Smith cited personal reasons for Britt's absence but did not elaborate further. Smith and the locker room hope to support Britt by giving him the necessary space to deal with his situation.
"When somebody's dealing with something personal, you leave it at that," Smith said. "You're there for support. You get them anything that they could possibly need to help them go through a situation. Then you stay away a little bit and just be there for him. That's all the team needs is that. To know that one of our teammates is going through something and the teammate knows that the team is behind him, supporting him in any way that you possibly can. Believe me, that's enough for all of us right now."
The Texans also elevated second-year OL Jimmy Morrissey to the active roster on Wednesday. Morrissey played in six games with five starts last year, when Britt was out due to injury. Scott Quessenberry, who played four seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers, is expected to start while Britt is out. The younger brother of former Texans offensive lineman David Quessenberry, Scott started the Week 2 game at Denver as well as two of the three preseason games last month.
"Coming in, he's (Scott Quessenberry) a veteran that's been in a role where you have to be ready," Smith said. "We like what he did the last preseason game. Every time he's had a chance to play, we liked some of the things he's done. He did some good things last week against the Broncos, from there, every rep you get of being in that role. We know Justin (Britt) is not going to be with us. Scott is there. He's a guy the players have all the confidence in the world in him, like we do. Expecting him to play good football like the rest of our guys this week."
The Texans will travel to Chicago on Sunday to play the Bears in Week 3. Kickoff is set for noon CT on CBS and SportsRadio 610.