The Texans have minimal health concerns as they approach their Week 1 game against the Miami Dolphins at Reliant Stadium.
Every Texans starter practiced on Wednesday. Wide receiver Andre Johnson (chest), defensive end J.J. Watt (elbow) and nose tackle Shaun Cody (back/ankle) were full participants. Inside linebacker Brian Cushing (ribs) was listed as limited, but there are no doubts about his availability for Sunday.
"We're full-force today, back to work," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said.
The only Texans player who did not practice was outside linebacker Bryan Braman, a special teams standout who missed the preseason finale with a hamstring injury. Kubiak said Braman "will be touch-and-go" heading into the weekend. If Braman does not play against the Dolphins, Jesse Nading would be the backup to strongside linebacker Brooks Reed.
Despite numerous injury scares in the preseason, the Texans emerged relatively unscathed aside from a season-ending injury to backup swing tackle Rashad Butler (triceps).
"Other than Butler, we're really ready to go," Kubiak said. "We've had some guys miss time, but as we said all along, we knew we were going to get 'em back. That's the hard part: You've got to have a good camp to get ready to play in this league, and unfortunately, sometimes some guys get nicked up. But maybe this year we'll be get a little lucky, be able to avoid that."
Kubiak said Johnson "looks really good" after missing time in the preseason with minor groin and chest injuries. The Texans plan to use a four-wide receiver rotation this season with Johnson, Kevin Walter, Keshawn Martin and Lestar Jean.
"He's back to his full load at practice," Kubiak said of Johnson. "Obviously, I'm going to play all four of those guys in the game. We'll continue to do that. I think that's best for Andre and for the team as a whole. He's back to his normal self as far as work habits. He actually stayed there a little longer today; him and Matt (Schaub) worked on a couple of things. That's the guy I know, so he's back at it."
Watt, who did not play in the preseason after dislocating his left elbow early in camp, will likely be eased into game action. Kubiak said the Texans won't put Watt on a play count but will monitor his reps.
"There's no reason for him to go out there and play 70 plays," Kubiak said. "I think we know that… (But) watching practice, he's been excellent. I watched 1-on-1s today, he was excellent. He looks like J.J., so I know he's going to be battling us to take every play, but I think it's smart of us to make sure that we bring him along the right way."