Training Camp presented by Xfinity officially ended when the horn sounded on Thursday at the Houston Methodist Training Center. Starting next week the team goes into regular-season practice mode, although much of this week's work seemed to mimic a game week, with scout teams facing the first-team offense and defense.
However, final roster cuts are just five days away and the team will need to trim from 80 players to 53 on Tuesday.
"What would make it clear for us is that some of those guys we haven't had a lot of reps with, that we feel like we need to get more reps to make that decision, will definitely get more reps Saturday when we play," Head Coach David Culley said. "They will get more reps. We have a rep count for guys and hopefully, as the flow of the game goes, hopefully, they get those rep counts and we get evaluation."
After two hours in full pads the day before, Thursday's practice was about half as long and in shorts and helmets. The Texans still got in plenty of team periods ahead of Saturday's final preseason game against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"Oh, this is the best test you can have," Justin Reid said. "I mean, going against the defending Super Bowl champs, Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time. This is the people you want to play. I still have yet to pick him off, even though I should have. Wish I could have some of those back, so this should be a fun game to play in against them."
Laremy Tunsil won't play in Saturday's preseason game. The Texans two-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman remains on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Tunsil was working with trainers on the side field during practice.
"You know, right now he's just kind of getting -- reconditioning him because he's been away for a while," Culley said. "We're going to put him back out on the field again until we feel like he's condition-wise ready to play."
Before the start of practice, former quarterback Tytus Howard was launching far-sailing spiral passes downfield.
Reid is still lobbying to kick an extra point one of these days. When asked if any other player had the potential to play multiple positions, Reid said Defensive Back and Kick returner Desmond King II.
"Well, speaking how Desmond has been returning each ball he caught for about 25 plus, I'll say he'll be a mean slot receiver to the day they put him on the opposite side of the ball," Reid said.
When asked about being named "the smartest in the room" by fellow offensive linemen, Max Scharping laughed and mentioned not to forget about Harvard grad Cole Toner.
During team periods, the defense continued its streak of takeaways. Eric Murray and Terrance Mitchell each had an interception. Zach Cunningham tipped a pass during 7-on-7s in the red zone.
"That's one thing that we got to just keep focusing on, the run defense, and then forcing turnovers," Defensive Lineman Vincent Taylor said.
Tyrod Taylor and tight end Jordan Akins connected on several big plays in both 7-on-7s and team. Culley emphasized the importance of improving third-down conversions from last week's performance at Dallas.
"On the third downs it wasn't always the blitz that got us," Culley said. "It was the fact that we had some mental errors, which we've worked on this week to make sure it didn't happen."
The Texans added two new defensive backs this week. Rasul Douglas will wear No. 34 and Ka'dar Hollman will wear No. 22. Douglas was practicing with the team on Thursday.
Houston will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their third preseason game on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CDT on ABC13 and SportsRadio 610. Find tickets here.