After a week off, the Texans returned to the practice field outside at the Houston Methodist Training Center on Monday morning. Following practice, Head Coach DeMeco Ryans met with the media inside NRG Stadium at an afternoon press conference. The locker room was open to the media after that. Here are a few key storylines from Monday.
Tank Dell is back
Wide receiver Tank Dell missed the second half of the loss at Atlanta, and all of last weeks home win over the Saints with a concussion. He was back on the field this morning, and Ryans was happy about the rookie's return.
"Getting Tank back is big for us," Ryans said. "Tank has, as we've all seen, made big time plays. Every game he's been out there he's been consistent."
Dell's caught 19 passes for 324 yards and two touchdowns in five games this year, averaging 17.1 yards per reception.
Five of his catches have gone for 22 yards or more.
"He's a guy that we can count on when we need a big play," Ryans said. "So it's exciting to have Tank back. I'm just thankful that he's healthy and he's back feeling better and he's ready to roll."
Scruggs and Sting update
While Dell is back, cornerback Derek Stingley, Jr. (leg) and offensive lineman Juice Scruggs (leg) remain on injured reserve. Neither is done for the season, and they're expected to return. Ryans updated the media on how both are progressing.
"With Stingley I think his recovery process is on schedule," Ryans said "It's on plan. He's doing well. With Juice, we'll see where he ends up in the next week or so."
The Panthers are the Sunday opponent, and safety Jimmie Ward isn't paying attention to records. Carolina is winless in all six of their games this season.
"I don't really even look at the record unless the media blows it up," Ward said. "To be honest, we've been playing at 12 (noon) and I'm pretty sure Carolina been playing at 12. So we've been counted out all year. They're going to come to play and I feel like they got some good players. On the offense and the defensive side of the ball."
Quarterback Bryce Young was the first overall pick in this year's NFL Draft, and Ryans believes the rookie's "done a really good job", despite the 0-6 record.
"He's made some good decisions with the football," Ryans said. "He's made some really nice plays, so really encouraged by Bryce and his play and what he's done, so we have our hands full this week, for sure."
Ward spent part of his bye week back home in Mobile, Alabama. A star at Davidson High School, he and Jaquiski Tartt had their jerseys retired at the Warriors' home game. Tartt and Ward also played in the same San Francisco 49ers secondary together from 2015 through 2021.
"It was a cool experience and we ended up winning the game," Ward said. "So we got seen a lot of familiar faces and some old coaches that still work there. So it was a pretty, a pretty sweet time."