Two Houston Texans players could make their return off the Reserve Injured list as early as Sunday's game in Jacksonville.
After being place on IR prior to the start of the season, DL Mario Addison and LB Christian Harris, practiced with the team for the first time on Wednesday. The Texans now have 21 days to activate the players or keep them on IR.
Addison, now in his 12th NFL season and first with Houston, appears closer to making a return to the active roster. Heading into Week 1, the veteran pass rusher was limited at practice with a thigh injury and then placed on IR Sept. 10.
"I think they're in different stages," Head Coach Lovie Smith said Wednesday. "Mario (Addison) has played in the league for a long period of time, so he's a little bit more advanced with being able to play quicker. We can always use help with a good pass rusher, a good defensive end to play. He's healthy now. Again, the process has started. Hopefully sooner than later he'll be out there."
Harris, the Texans third-round draft pick from Alabama, impressed in OTAs and quickly earned reps with the first-team defense. However, a hamstring injury sidelined him early in training camp and kept him out of preseason action.
"He's healthy now in the best shape he can be," Smith said. "Mentally, he knows a lot more because of being able to observe but it's a little bit more than that. I'm excited about him eventually getting out there. That's about all I can tell you right now."
According to the new league rules, a player designated to return is eligible to return to practice or the active/inactive list after four games have elapsed since being placed on the reserve list. Teams are permitted to return eight players from the IR list or reserve/non-football injury/illness list in 2022.
The Texans will travel to Jacksonville in Week 5 to take on the (2-2) Jaguars next Sunday before heading into their Week 6 bye.