After defeating the Buccaneers 28-14, the Texans were back at work Monday preparing for Thursday's game against the Denver Broncos.
Back to work: After their victory Sunday, the Texans have a quick three-day turnaround before they face the visiting Broncos. There is little time to rest sore bodies or nagging injuries, so most of Monday's practice took place in the football classroom.
"We spent a lot more time meeting because coaches know that we can't go out there and bang each other the day after a game," defensive end N.D. Kalu said. "So what it does, it makes us spend more time in the classroom and less time on the field."
Some players came extremely prepared, having reviewed film in their free time.
"I got a chance to see all my screw-ups and get those out of the way," said right guard Mike Brisiel, who was coming off his first NFL start.
Head coach Gary Kubiak kept Monday's workout in Reliant Stadium light so that players could have a chance to physically recharge.
"Coach Kubiak, who's played in the league, definitely understands bodies and how your body will feel," defensive tackle Amobi Okoye said. "We went out there and were still sound and fundamental in our technique, but it was more like a walk-through. He was preserving us for the game, and that's something I'm not used to."
Kubiak said the day was more about getting his players mentally set for the battle ahead.
"You have to get your guys fresh, get them mentally ready to go, and not confuse them at all," Kubiak said.
"We're very sore and beat up and it's a new challenge for this organization, this football team, and I think the kids are looking forward to it. They were very attentive today. We had a good day. We need two more and we'll get ready to go."
Nicks and bruises: The players appreciated the lighter practice. The team didn't suffer any major injuries in Sunday's game, but there were certainly some banged up players.
Linebacker DeMeco Ryans bruised his knee. Running back Ron Dayne aggravated a sprained ankle and will be day-to-day this week. Guard Kasey Studdard was knocked out of he game on a collision and sported a black eye to prove it. Guard Chester Pitts, who briefly came out of the game with an injury, looked strong taking limited reps.
All four are expected to ready to dress against the Broncos.
Schaub's second opinion: Quarterback Matt Schaub will fly to California to receive a second opinion on the left shoulder that he dislocated in Week 13 against the Titans.
The starting quarterback did not dress against the Buccaneers and has not practiced since he suffered the injury; however, Schaub is not ruling himself out for Thursday.
"It's coach's decision," Schaub said. "We've got a few days here, but I'm going to be getting a second opinion and we'll see how things go."
While his range of motion has been limited, Schaub would like to dress as a backup for Sage Rosenfels.
"I want to get back out there on the field and help my team and be a part of what we're doing here in the end of the season and finish the regular season off right," Schaub said. "I want to get back out there with my guys."
Primetime for Texans: The players know that by Thursday their adrenaline will be running high as they take field in their Battle Red uniforms for a nationally televised game on the NFL Network.
"I think it pumps guys up because when we're home on Thursday, we go home and turn on the NFL Network to see who's playing, to watch the football game," wide receiver Andre Johnson said. "Other guys around the league, they'll be watching us for the first time on NFL Network. So I think it'll definitely pump guys up to go out and play well."
"Every Thursday night we get together as a team and we go out to dinner and wherever we are, that's what's on - that Thursday night game," Ryans said. "So it's time for everybody to tune in and see what the Texans are about."
Daniels' dunk: After catching a four-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, tight end Owen Daniels had a flashy follow-up move: a goalpost slam dunk. Daniels' new end-zone celebration came courtesy of Pitts.
"He gave (the idea) to me when we were going through our walk-through Saturday morning," Daniels said. "I was like, 'That's a pretty good idea. I usually just spike the ball and celebrate with my teammates. I'll just try something new.'
"I thought about it Saturday night, I was like, 'Man, I'm not sure if I can get up over the goalpost.' I hadn't tried, got the helmet on, shoulder pads, jumping off the grass. It was a little different than jumping off a wood floor playing basketball like back in high school, so I was a little concerned, but I think I had enough adrenaline going. That's what let me do it."
Injury report: For the Texans' official injury report, click here.