The Texans held Brian Cushing out of practice for the third consecutive day on Thursday. Coach Gary Kubiak did not rule him out of Saturday's preseason game at New Orleans, but it seems unlikely that Cushing would play after missing practice all week.
Cushing is dealing with bruised ribs. The Texans' primary concern will be making sure their star linebacker is 100 percent healthy for Week 1.
"Brian wanted to (practice on Thursday)," Kubiak said. "Kap (Texans head athletic trainer Geoff Kaplan) thought that it was best that we work him out with the trainers today since he missed the last couple days… He did have a good workout. I'll probably make a decision on Brian tomorrow. My expectations are that he will play. He wants to play. But that will wait. We'll work him out in the morning and see what Kap and them say."
Posey likely out
Rookie wide receiver DeVier Posey is not expected to play on Saturday because of a calf issue. The third-round draft pick from Ohio State did not practice or do any on-field work on Thursday after leaving practice early on Wednesday.
Posey does not yet have a catch in the preseason.
"No, I don't," Kubiak said Thursday when asked if he thinks Posey will play against the Saints. "I think the fact that we have such a quick turnaround on Thursday against Minnesota in which you guys know I'll play a lot of young guys, I think we'll have to take that into consideration. But the thought was yesterday when they checked him out that he would be ready to go on Saturday, so we'll see tomorrow."
Job up for grabs
Kubiak did not announce Thursday who will start at right tackle against the Saints. It could be Rashad Butler, a seventh-year veteran who started the preseason opener, or Derek Newton, a second-year pro who started the second preseason game.
"They're both going to play," Kubiak said. "They're going to play three quarters of football throughout the game. Like I said, it's a very good competition; they both have their strengths and we'll keep plugging. This will be a good group they're playing against – noise, turf, all that stuff – so we'll see how we play."
Kubiak indicated Wednesday that a platoon could be in store at the position once the regular season begins.
Kickers Randy Bullock and Shayne Graham are competing for one job, but it has been a friendly competition.
"He's definitely a friend," said Bullock, the rookie fifth-round draft pick from Texas A&M. "He's helped me out a lot mentally, physically, seeing how he's done everything. That helps a lot, having a veteran guy who's been around for so long (for) a young guy trying to learn the ropes."
Graham, who is in his 13th training camp, said much of the same.
"There's things I can give him," Graham said. "We don't have any animosity toward each other. We don't do things behind each other's back. We don't give bad advice hoping to screw each other up. So we get along great. It's a good working relationship, but we also know that it's high-stakes and we're playing for the same thing."
The two kickers are neck-and-neck on field goals in preseason games and offseason practices. Graham is 4-of-4 in games with a long of 49. Bullock is 2-of-3 with a long of 52. His lone miss was wide right from 51 yards against the 49ers.
Quotes of the Day
"There were no good memories of the fourth quarter last season." – OLB Connor Barwin, on his best memory of the fourth quarter at New Orleans in Week 3 of last season, in which Drew Brees and the Saints scored 23 points to beat the Texans 40-33
"The coaches always say 'The more you can do to help this team, the better your chances of making this team,' and that's the approach I take to the game. I try to learn every position – even though I'll be mostly at the 3-technique or the 5-technique, still know what the nose man does, just for cases like this. You never know what happens." – DE Tim Jamison, who has been starting with J.J. Watt sidelined by a dislocated elbow, on the importance of knowing multiple positions on the defensive line