Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips underwent surgery Thursday on his kidney and gallbladder. The team released a statement on Thursday afternoon saying that Phillips, 64, had completed the surgery and was in stable condition.
Phillips will be on a medical leave of absence for the next 7-10 days.
"We're happy to hear that he's doing well," Texans cornerback Jason Allen said. "We're going to keep him in our prayers and wish him a speedy recovery. We definitely want to play well for him in his absence."
Linebackers coach Reggie Herring, the Texans' interim defensive coordinator, ran the NFL's No. 1 defense in practice on Thursday.
"I'm watching guys pick it up a notch," Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said. "They want to help Reggie, help any way they can, and they understand the situation and also want Wade to be sitting there watching them play Sunday and make him proud. So, if anything, I just watch guys continue to find a little bit more in themselves week in and week out, and that's what our team's been all about."
All-Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson did not practice on Thursday. He ran on a side field for the second consecutive day. Johnson has not practiced since injuring his left hamstring against the Falcons on Dec. 4.
Kubiak said he does not know if Johnson will be able to play this weekend, but it sounds unlikely.
"Obviously, he'd have to make a lot of improvement, but the fact that we have him out here this week means that we're getting closer to him being on the field," Kubiak said. "I would not expect him to practice tomorrow, probably give you a decision after that, but we're heading in the right direction."
Right guard Mike Brisiel (ankle) and cornerback Sherrick McManis (ankle) also did not practice for the Texans on Thursday.
Tight end Joel Dreessen, who leads the team with six touchdown catches, was one of four players who were limited. Dreessen suffered a knee injury against the Bengals on Sunday.
"His knee is still swollen," Kubiak said. "Joel doesn't need to practice to play, so that was the decision that we made to make sure that we get the swelling down before Sunday, but I would expect him to be there."