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Owen Daniels' status in question because of hip injury


Texans tight end Owen Daniels missed practice because of a hip injury for the second consecutive day on Thursday.

An issue that seemed like a minor concern on Monday, when coach Gary Kubiak said Daniels had a "hip bruise," has now made it unclear if Daniels will play on Sunday at the Chicago Bears.

"(It's) something on the back of his hip," Kubiak said on Thursday. "The way it's been described to me, it's somewhat related to like having a bad, bad hip-pointer. When he can get the soreness out and (we see) how much he can handle, then he's back on the field. But obviously, it's been a problem for a couple days. It was really a problem yesterday. He has improved today. He's in meetings, moving around pretty good, so I think we're just moving day-to-day to see how far he comes."

Daniels has not attended practice in the last two days, remaining inside Reliant Stadium for rehab. Nose tackle Shaun Cody, who has a ribs injury, is in the same boat. Cody denied Thursday a report that he had a punctured lung, saying his ribs were just "a little beat up" and bruised.

"Owen is very capable (of playing) without practicing," Kubiak said. "But at the same time, he's missed two days of practice, and we've got to get him back the right way. So we're just totally committed to the training room right now with him and Shaun, and we'll see where we're at."

Aside from Daniels, Garrett Graham is the only tight end on the Texans' roster. Fullback James Casey also plays tight end, a role that would likely increase if Daniels is unable to play.

"That situation at tight end is something that it's been a concern of mine all year long with our roster because we've carried three this year, or really two, if you're counting James as a fullback," Kubiak said. "We carried four last year. (Daniels) does a lot for us, so it made us have to rethink a lot of things offensively. It'll make us adjust as coaches, but we've got to figure out a way to move the ball."

Fullback Tyler Clutts, a former Bear, could be in line for more offensive reps if Daniels is out and Casey plays more tight end.

Daniels is having the best season of his career. A native of Naperville, Ill., 30 miles west of Chicago, he has 37 catches for 478 yards and five touchdowns, which leads the team and already ties his career-high. Casey has a career-high 21 catches for 211 yards and a touchdown. Graham has 10 catches for 122 yards and caught his first touchdown last week.

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