Notes and Quotes: 2021 Season Finale, Andre Johnson returns

I wish we could have won a lot more. It was a great starting point. I love it here and I definitely want to be here in the future. LB Kamu Grugier-Hill

The Houston Texans will wrap up their final game of the 2021 season on Sunday when they host the Tennessee Titans. The Texans look to play spoiler to a Titans team, hoping to secure a No. 1 seed in the AFC playoff picture.

Check out the top stories and quotes from the Texans' final week of practice.

"All I know is that this week is guaranteed and I am looking forward to going out there one more time at NRG Stadium for this season," Justin Britt said. "Get the win and end our season the right way, the way we want to on a win and head into the offseason."

On Wednesday, the Texans activated seven players from the Reserve/COVID-19 list: WR Danny Amendola, TE Antony Auclair, DL Ron'Dell Carter, OL Tytus Howard, RB David Johnson, DB Lonnie Johnson Jr. and WR Chris Moore.

With so many players out in recent weeks due to COVID-19, remaining players have had to step up and play multiple roles, like rookie LB Garret Wallow, which has helped younger players develop quicker.

"When you do multiple things like they do, you get a chance to show your skillset," Defensive Coordinator Lovie Smith said. "That's what we've been able to do, and we might have to do it again. COVID has forced us to do a lot of those things too, but again we know a lot more, and we have a lot of players back this week, and we will need them all to beat a great Tennessee team."

Davis Mills will get his 11th career start on Sunday. He has thrown for 2,363 yards, completed 66.5 percent of his passes, for 13 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and an 85.2 passer rating. Mills has also rushed for 32 yards on 14 carries through 12 games with 10 starts. The rookie quarterback reflected on his season and how he has grown since he first took the field.

"Coming in the first half of the season, a lot of it was just trying to keep my head and learn all the stuff," Mills said. "But now that I've got everything pretty much ingrained and it's more week-to-week game plan stuff rather than trying to learn the foundations of this offense, I've really started to not worry too much about what we're doing but more so what my coaches can tell me about the other defenses that we're playing and how I can anticipate better and really go out and attack each week, week by week, opponent by opponent. So, it's been great."

The Texans announced some of their 2021 team awards on Thursday. Britt was voted by teammates as the 2021 Ed Block Courage Award winner. Britt worked his way back from a season-ending knee injury in 2019 and suffered another knee injury that landed him on IR for four games. Britt, who has started ten games at center this season, returned in Week 13.

"It's an honor and privilege," Britt said. "Like you said, it's voted on from my peers, so to be able to sit here and be recognized by them is a huge accomplishment. This award means a lot to me. You come into the league, and you see that award, and you're like, 'That's not going to be me. I'm not going to have adversity go through my career.'"

Houston's IMPACT Team also awarded three players for their work in the community during the 2021 season: TE Jeff Driskel was named the 2021 IMPACT Newcomer of the Year, Wallow was named the 2021 IMPACT Rookie of the Year, and QB Tyrod Taylor was named the 2021 IMPACT Community MVP.

"It was definitely an honor," Wallow said. "I was definitely really excited about it because I'm very passionate about helping out in the community. I've met a lot of great people while working with the IMPACT team, going to the Boys & Girls Club and just all types of events that we've done."

Additionally, the Texans Strength & Conditioning Staff was given the Staff IMPACT Award for their departments' work in the community.

Andre Johnson will serve as the Homefield Advantage captain for Sunday's game. Named a 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame Finalist, Johnson spent the first 12 seasons of his career with the Texans after being drafted third overall in the 2003 NFL Draft. He started 169 games for the Texans from 2003-14 and led the team in receptions and receiving yards in 10 of those seasons.

The Texans will close out their 2021 campaign at home against the Tennessee Titans. Sunday's kickoff is set for noon CT on CBS and SportsRadio 610. Click here for tickets.

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