The Texans began their three-day mandatory veteran minicamp on Tuesday at the Houston Methodist Training Center. Much like the rest of the offseason practices, no pads or hitting are permitted during minicamp. However, unlike the rest of OTAs, minicamp is mandatory for veterans and rookies.
Deshaun Watson practiced for the first time this offseason sans knee brace. He participated in individual and 7-on-7 drills, still no team work, but it's a GREAT sign heading into training camp.
"I'm sure that was cleared with the proper people," Bill O'Brien said. "I'm not the brace doctor or the brace coach."
Watson and DeAndre Hopkins connected often, including a touchdown pass during red zone drills.
Santa Fe High School football players and coaches attended Tuesday's practice and had a chance to meet Texans players. Watson chatted with the Santa Fe quarterback who said he looked up to him. O'Brien spoke to the high school students who huddled around him on the field.
O'Brien also announced the Texans donated $100,000 to the Santa Fe Strong Memorial Fund.
Santa Fe assistant coach Richard Davis reconnected with Christian Covington whom he met with the Texan defensive end visited the school with his teammates recently.
Andre Hal was noticeably absent from the sideline. The fifth-year safety, diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma last week, had been at OTAs but not practicing. Johnathan Joseph said he speaks with Hal daily and that he and his teammates will be there for Hal throughout his treatment, from beginning to end.
Kareem Jackson showed his versatility, lining up at safety during minicamp practice.
Shane Lechler was seen joking with Jackson and Tyrann Mathieu on the sideline during 7-on-7 drills.
Rookie Justin Reid, when asked about the opportunity to win the starting safety position, said he's currently working on getting better every day for training camp and the preseason.
"I'm going to compete and give it my best shot," Reid said. "We're going to put the chips on the table, and where they fall, they fall."
Veteran minicamp, which will conclude the nine-week offseason workout program, continues Wednesday at the Houston Methodist Training Center.
Check out some of the top shots from the first day of Texans minicamp.