Yeah, we told him he better have some punch-outs. He better have some strip attempts this game. We’ll see. LB Kamu Grugier-Hill on Christian Kirksey playing with a club-like cast on Sunday
After back-to-back road games at Indianapolis and Arizona, the Houston Texans return home for Week 8 to host the Los Angeles Rams. The Texans look to snap their six-game losing streak and score touchdowns, something they haven't been able to do since their game at NRG Stadium in the third quarter against the Patriots.
Here are some of the top stories and quotes of the week:
The Texans designated QB Tyrod Taylor to return off the Reserve/Injured list this week. Although Taylor practiced, he isn't ready to be activated yet, according to Head Coach David Culley.
"We are just taking it day-by-day, just like we did this week," Culley said. "He's made a lot of progress, but not enough progress to be ready to get back out there and be our starter."
Davis Mills will get his sixth start on Sunday. In his two career home starts, Mills has four touchdowns, no interceptions and a 119 passer rating.
Culley's outlined three major problems he wants his team to fix ASAP: penalties, big plays and missed tackles.
"That's the first focus that we are going to make sure moving forward that we find exactly what that is, our coaching staff, and get our players to where we are eliminating those. It's killing us on first and second down on offense, and we've had some untimely penalties on defense."
On eliminating big plays:
"The question is, 'Well, how do you eliminate the big plays? Why are the big plays happening?' They are happening sometimes simply because we've had some miscommunication. I go back to the penalties. We got to eliminate those kinds of things."
On missed tackles:
"We have not tackled very well. Whether it's on special teams or on defense, we have to be better at tackling. Some of those big plays are happening, we're having them for short gains, and they are getting big gains because we are missing tackles."
With the Nov. 2 trade deadline just days away, the Texans will finalize Mark Ingram II to the New Orleans Saints. The veteran RB signed in the offseason and was reunited with Culley after spending two seasons with him in Baltimore.
The Texans currently have four remaining running backs on the active roster: David Johnson, Phillip Lindsay, Rex Burkhead and Scottie Phillips.
"Just due to numbers, there is going to be more carries for those guys, more opportunities to be able to go out there and make plays," Offensive Coordinator Tim Kelly said. "We've got a good room, still got a good room there. With guys who still have different skill sets. It's our job to find different ways to get the ball to them and to put them in a spot to help us move the football and score points."
Phillips could be active for his first game this season after an impressive showing in the preseason.
"I feel like Scottie (Phillips) is always ready, man," David Johnson said. "He showed out really well in the preseason. I think he just needs his opportunity, and I think he's going to do well for us when he does have the chance to run the ball or catch the ball or pass pro. I think he's a good player."
LB Christian Kirksey is dealing with a thumb injury and wearing a club-like cast on his hand this week. Kirksey said he injured his thumb during the second quarter against Arizona. He expects to still play on Sunday.
"Honestly, I don't even pay attention to it," Kirksey said. "It's one of those things where it's a mindset. You just go out there and continue to play ball."
DL Ross Blacklock says the defensive line room has a sack leader board called, "Sacks Fifth Avenue." The position group has a lot of players into high fashion, led by Charles Omenihu. Jon Greenard currently leads the team with six sacks through just five games played. He also has seven tackles for loss, seven quarterback hits and a forced fumble this season.
"What we've seen is that, he had an injury early and that knocked him back a little bit," Defensive Coordinator Lovie Smith said. "He didn't dress a few games, I don't know how many, five or so games he's played in, but what we've seen from him, he comes to work every day and he plays hard. He's coachable and he's a young player that's developing his game still. I'm anxious to see how far he can go with it."
Kickoff is set for noon CT. Click here for tickets.