The Texans practiced outside on a cold, gray day at the Methodist Training Center, across the street from Reliant Stadium.
Bryan's back: With the return of deep snapper Bryan Pittman, tight end Joel Dreessen will get to rest a little more by not playing on special teams. Dreessen said that he wishes he could continue his deep snapping duties, but he understands the reasoning behind the change.
"I was actually feeling very comfortable in the role that I was in, playing on offense as well as doing the long snapping," Dreessen said. "I'm kind of disappointed that my shoulder has let me down and I might not be able to do that role this week."
Dreessen was limited Wednesday in practice because of his shoulder injury, but said he'll be ready to go for Thursday and beyond. Head coach Gary Kubiak said Dreessen's "a pretty tough guy" and will have the injury addressed after the season is finished.
For the complete injury report, click here.
Eyes on Jackson: Despite a 1-12 record, the Rams feature one of the game's best players in running back Steven Jackson. His 1,271 rushing yards are second in the NFL to Tennessee's Chris Johnson, and it's the fifth consecutive season he's picked up more than1,000 yards. A few members of the Texans' defense marveled about the six-year veteran.
"He's a power back," strong safety Bernard Pollard said. "He has vision. To see a guy that's 6-3, 240-something pounds and see him run the way he runs, that strikes a lot of fear in defenders."
Rookie linebacker Brian Cushing will get his first look at Jackson on Sunday in St. Louis. He, too, is mightily impressed with the big back for the Rams.
"Week in and week out, he shows it," Cushing said. "Year in and year out, he's shown it. He's a very capable back. He's capable of running away from guys and running over guys. He's one of the best running backs in the league."
Not fooled: Even though the Rams are tied with Tampa Bay for the worst record in all of football, the Texans say they won't overlook them.
"We're hungry to get wins ourselves," linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. "Like the saying goes: 'Any given Sunday, anything can happen.' So we're not taking anybody lightly."
Kubiak compared Sunday's contest to last season's loss at Oakland in Week 16. The Texans fell to Raiders, who were just 3-11 entering the game. Kubiak said his team won't have any problems with over-confidence.
"Believe me, that's easy for us not to do because last year," Kubiak said. "(Late in the season), we went to Oakland and got our butts kicked. We've got to worry about ourselves. It's been a rough month, we bounced back last week, we've got to continue to bounce forward, and I liked our practice today."
Ryans thinks he and his teammates have grown quite a bit mentally since that 2008 loss to the Raiders.
"It wasn't a good performance by us, but I know we are a lot more mature team than we were then," Ryans said.
Wide receiver Andre Johnson also knows he and the Texans won't be surprised in St. Louis.
"We are aware of everything," Johnson said. "We're aware about them, and there's not a team that we're just going to go out there and overlook just because they've only won one game."