The Texans practiced Friday at the Methodist Training Center and after, head coach Gary Kubiak answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of his interview.
Head Coach Gary Kubiak(on CB Kareem Jackson) "He did not practice today. He was sore today. I think there's still a chance he could play, so it'll probably be a game-time decision, probably get him up moving around tomorrow morning and work him out before the game."
(on who would start if CB Kareem Jackson can't play) "Jason (Allen) would start, but Brice (McCain) would play also. We'll continue to rotate people there."
(on if the fact that CB Kareem Jackson hasn't practiced much this week would keep him from starting) "It wouldn't keep me from playing him. Let me see what happens. My point is, I think there's still a chance he could play, even though he didn't work today. He was sore, so we just wanted the other guys to get the reps. I think there's a chance if he works good Sunday morning that he still goes."
(on if the Steelers' fast receivers will play a role in his decision to play CB Kareem Jackson) "No, hell no. He's our starting corner. If he can play, he's going to play. Like I said, he got banged pretty good, was able to do what we did Wednesday, but wasn't able to hold up yesterday, so I just don't know right now."
(on if CB Jason Allen will start) "Jason will start if… Well, don't put the cart before the horse. Let's wait and see. I think there's a chance he'll play. Somebody will start."
(on if RB Arian Foster is where he wants him to be) "Yeah, he looks good. I think it's still our job to watch the reps and stuff because I made the point to ya'll the other day. He's played I think 35 snaps and you take a starter like a lineman has played over 300 this year, so there's a big discrepancy there in where we're going. We'll watch him, but we're going to put him back to work full-time and see how he holds up."
(on any other health issues) "No, we're okay. I think we're okay with the week. Mario's (Williams) held up and get him some good rest here in the next 48 hours, should be good to go."
(on the injuries to the Steelers' offensive line) "Well they found a way to play through them before. They know what they're doing. They'll find a way to protect Ben (Roethlisberger) and give him a chance to make plays. They're a great team because they always adjust when they have problems and they play with a lot of confidence and they're difficult to score points on. We know we're going to get a great effort out of them. We got to have the same out of us."
(on if he liked this week's practice without any lingering effects from last week) "Yeah, I thought we went back to work. That's part of this League. When you get disappointers, you got to go back to work with a good frame of mind. Probably our best Friday practice of the year, so need to carry it over to the field."
(on if he thinks the team's toughness will be determined by how they play against the Steelers) "I think we got a tough football team. The course of the season, we'll find out."
(on T Duane Brown's first game against the Steelers compared to where he's at now) "Well, Duane's (Brown) become a much better player. He's got a lot of reps under his belt. He's stronger. He's bigger, but he's still playing one of the best in the game. It's a big challenge for Duane. It's a big challenge for Eric (Winston) on the other side. They can bring it both ways. How we play up front will probably have a lot to do with how successful we are on offense because these guys can force you into a lot of bad football plays."
(on cornerbacks Jason Allen and Brice McCain) "Jason's (Allen) basically played as much, almost as much as a starter, probably just a little bit less than Kareem (Jackson), so he's played a lot of football. Brice (McCain) basically starts in nickel, so he's got his starter ability on our football team. If Kareem's unable to go, those guys will have to stand up and do their job."
(on RB Derrick Ward's status for Sunday) "It doesn't look good right now."
(on how he knows what SS Troy Polamalu is going to do if he can freelance) "I don't. I wish I could tell you."
(on how he defends against SS Troy Polamalu) "He's going to be all over the place. He creates havoc. You do all you can to neutralize him. When he factors huge in a game, as far as interceptions, fumbles, knocking balls out and those type of things, you're in trouble, so we just got to do everything we can to get a hat on him. He's a hell of a player, but we got to go out and do a pretty good job against him too."
(on how much of a luxury it is to have RB Ben Tate backing up RB Arian Foster) "Well, Ben's (Tate) a good player. He's done some good stuff. Obi's (Chris Ogbonnaya) had a really good week. Ben needs to continue to grow as a player. Hopefully between them all, we're good at running back. We'll see."
(on if he feels more comfortable with RB Arian Foster's pass protection abilities) "Ben's (Tate) come a long ways. He knows what he's doing now, but Arian (Foster) has been a three-down player on a consistent basis. Playing somebody as complicated as this, obviously it's nice to have him back."