Notes from the Texans' practice and locker room on Thursday at Reliant Stadium:
No change in backups
T.J. Yates has started the previous four games at quarterback, and is now backed up by Jake Delhomme and Jeff Garcia. He'll start again Sunday against the Titans, and according to head coach Gary Kubiak, Delhomme is still second on the depth chart.
"I think Jake's a little bit ahead just because he had about a week head start, so one's four weeks, one's three weeks with us," Kubiak said of the difference between the two behind Yates. "That's not a lot of time, but they're both working very hard at it and if something happened to T.J., they could go in and operate. Obviously we couldn't operate at full throttle with what we do offensively, but they've made a lot of progress."
Brisiel getting well
Right guard Mike Brisiel continues his rehab of an ankle/lower leg injury he suffered against the Bengals. It's an injury that's been described as very similar to safety Danieal Manning's and according to Kubiak, Brisiel is doing "exceptional" in his recuperation.
"He's a little over two weeks out of the surgery," Kubiak said. "He is doing field work, so everything is geared up towards him possibly playing next week. I would be wrong to make a statement on that right now, but he is making progress."
Manning left the Titans' game in Week 7, and returned to start against Jacksonville in Week 12.
Tate's big season
With more than 800 yards rushing as a backup, running back Ben Tate's enjoyed a fine 2011. His rookie year was lost due to a leg injury he suffered in the 2010 preseason opener at Arizona, but since Week 1, Tate has contributed this season.
"I thank God," Tate said. "It's a blessing and I thank him every day for it. I come back, had I think a pretty good year. So, if I get a thousand yards or not, to me, I think it'll be a very, very successful year for me."
Tate was asked about cracking the 1,000 yard mark, and he said it would be tough to pick up the 155 yards he needs, with Arian Foster in front of him.
"Division matchups are always finicky."—Right tackle Eric Winston on playing the Titans for the second time this season.
"We emphasize it every week and the amazing thing about it, as bad as it was, we still had our chance, in my opinion, to win the last two games. So, we got to stay positive here."—Head coach Gary Kubiak on if he's re-emphasized the importance of converting on third down.