The Texans had a mixed bag of injury news on Wednesday at the Methodist Training Center.
Running backs Arian Foster (hamstring) and Derrick Ward (ankle) and wide receiver Jacoby Jones (knee) did not practice. Cornerback Johnathan Joseph (ankle) and wide receiver Kevin Walter (shoulder) practiced and appear to be on track to play in Week 3 at New Orleans.
Head coach Gary Kubiak said it's too early to know what the Texans' backfield situation will be on Sunday. Foster sat out of the second half in Week 2 with tightness in his hamstring. Ward was inactive for the game. If they can't play against the Saints, the Texans would be down to Ben Tate and Steve Slaton as their only healthy running backs. Chris Ogbonnaya could be called up from the practice squad.
"Arian didn't practice, but he worked real hard," Kubiak said. "We're putting him through a program, and it may be a routine right now on Wednesdays. We'll see where he's at, but obviously we've got two guys unless we would do something with Ogbonnaya, so you'd play a game with two guys. You don't like to; you'd like to suit up three, but we'll see. We'll see where Arian's at."
Kubiak said that Jones, who ranks third in the NFL in punt return average (25.4), "banged his knee" during the game at Miami and has since experienced swelling.
"We drained it, drained it again today," Kubiak said. "It could be end of the week before he's back out there. We think he'll be OK, but his knee just swole up on him."
Jones started for Walter against the Dolphins. It looks like that's the only game Walter will miss with an injury that reportedly was going to cost him 10-12 weeks. Kubiak said Wednesday that "all signs are pointing in the right direction" with his No. 2 receiver.
"Kevin's one of the toughest guys we've got," Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison said. "He does everything you ask him to do – the dirty work, the easy work, whatever. He'll go out there and he'll grind and he won't take any snaps off. So from a team standpoint, having Kevin back will be great."
Walter said that he still has some soreness in his shoulder but "absolutely" expects to play this week.
"They'll probably have to numb it up on Sunday, but it is what it is," he said. "I'm going to have a pad on there and protect it and play through it."
Kubiak said that Joseph, who sprained his ankle against the Dolphins, "was fine" on Wednesday. Having him healthy will be crucial for a defense set to go against Drew Brees and the Saints, who rank fifth in the league with 330 passing yards per game.