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Texans on free agent linebacker Joe Mays

Last season during a Week 3 win at Denver, Joe Mays hit Matt Schaub so hard that a small part of the quarterback's ear was cut off.

Now, the two might be teammates.

The former Bronco is a free agent, and Texans head coach Gary Kubiak acknowledged Monday morning that the team is in contact with Mays.

"Obviously, you all know we're talking to him," Kubiak said inside the Houston Methodist Training Center. "He's out there. He's free and we've got some things going on with our team that we think he might be interested in as a player from an opportunity (standpoint)."

Starter Brian Cushing is coming off a knee injury, and the other starter inside is Darryl Sharpton, who is currently on the physically unable to perform list with a groin injury. Veteran Tim Dobbins and second-year player Cameron Collins have each taken reps with the starting defense. Mays played last season in a 3-4 defensive scheme, although it's different than the 3-4 that coordinator Wade Phillips employs with the Texans. General manager Rick Smith, according to Kubiak, is exploring all options to bolster depth and talent on the roster.

"Rick has visited with him and Wade has visited with him," Kubiak said. "I'm not sure what his timetable is, but obviously we're always trying to get better with our team."

Kubiak also said Sharpton continues to receive treatment on his groin, which is a disappointment after the promising offseason he enjoyed.

"We actually gave Darryl an injection yesterday," Kubiak said. "He's feeling much better. What's today? Monday. I'm thinking probably around Wednesday we've got to make a decision on the path for him. He had a great offseason. He was excellent, so hopefully we can get him back there."

Schaub, meanwhile, said he harbors no ill will towards Mays, who was suspended for a game and fined $50,000 for the hit last September.

"We're way past that," Schaub said. "That was gone as soon as we walked off the field that day. It's just a physical, hard-nosed game and he's a physical player. It's just part of football and I don't fault him for that. It's definitely water under the bridge."

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