The Texans (7-8) practiced for the last time this season Friday as they head into their AFC South grudge match Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars (11-4).
Getting motivated: Head coach Gary Kubiak said it didn't take much to motivate the team in the huddle after practice. The players knew what they are playing for Sunday when they host the Jaguars.
"We were very sharp mentally," Kubiak said. "But, you know, it is what it is. We also know how important this weekend is, and that doesn't happen for 48 hours. So we're going to find out, but it better be important to everybody who's on that football field and every coach, and I know how important it is to our city and our fans."
Not only are the Texans playing for pride, they are looking for an eighth win, which would give them the best record in franchise history at 8-8.
"We're trying to finish up as strong as we can as an organization," running back Darius Walker said. "This'll definitely be - we want it to be - the best season that this organization has ever had, so that's our focus.
"We may not be playing for the playoffs, but we still have a whole lot to live up to as far as our own expectations go."
The Texans have won three in a row at home, and if they beat Jacksonville will finish the season 6-2 at Reliant Stadium, losing only to Indianapolis by six and Tennessee by two points. A win over the Jaguars would also mean the Texans do no go winless in the rugged AFC South.
They may not be headed to the playoffs, but the Texans have a lot to play for when they take the field for the last time this season.
Saying goodbye to Sherm: Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman will coach his last game with the Texans on Sunday, ending an 11-year run in the NFL to take over as head coach of Texas A&M University.
"I think it's a tough day for him," Kubiak said of Sherman. "It might be his last day in pro football."
Since Sherman accepted the position on Nov. 26, he tirelessly has balanced two jobs, working 90-hour work weeks and intermittently driving to College Station. It's a commitment that has not gone unnoticed.
"He's been a big part of what we're doing and the sacrifice that he made two years ago in his coaching career when he was going through a tough time to come here and help us - that's a huge sacrifice that he made," said Kubiak, a former quarterback at Texas A&M. "He's done a great job, so we wish him well. Hopefully, we send him out the right way."
Sherman joined the Texans in 2006 after spending six seasons as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers. He will return to Texas A&M where he coached the offensive line from 1989-93 and then again from 1995-96.
Injury outlook: Defensive end Anthony Weaver most likely will miss Sunday's game with a shoulder injury. The six-year veteran sat out of practice this week. Defensive end Earl Cochran will start if Weaver does not play.
Kubiak called Cochran one of the bright spots in the 38-15 loss to Indy. As a backup, the three-year veteran has recorded 25 tackles and one sack this season.
Quarterback Matt Schaub did not participate in practice Friday after working with the scout team all week. Kubiak said Schaub will dress as the third option, but he does not plan to the quarterback. Shane Boyd will serve as the backup too Sage Rosenfels.
Rosenfels has thrown 14 touchdowns and needs two more to tie the team record of 16 in a season set by David Carr in 2004. Rosenfels and Schaub have combined for 3797 passing yards and 23 touchdowns this season.
Running back Ron Dayne increased his reps in practice and is listed as probable going into the game. Still, rookie running back Darius Walker could get his third consecutive start. Walker rushed for 66 yards and notched 44 receiving yards against the Colts. He has 178 yards rushing in the last three games.
Injury report: For the Texans' official injury report, click here.