“He's an electric guy. Everyone around the league knows what Duke Johnson can do, what he did for Cleveland at his time there. He's a guy that's going to bring a lot of energy, a lot of extra talent and he can do a lot of different things for us, especially for our offense.” Deshaun Watson
The Texans practiced without a number of their veterans on Wednesday inside the Houston Methodist Training Center. For everyone else, it was a shorts and jersey practice. J.J. Watt, DeAndre Hopkins, Johnathan Joseph, Will Fuller V and Whitney Mercilus were among some of the players that did not practice.
Starters may get some playing time again in Saturday's preseason game at Dallas, but probably not much, according to head coach Bill O'Brien.
"I think it will be similar to how we used them in the Detroit game – not much," O'Brien said. "Some of that is a play count, so it depends on first team goes out there, is it a three-and-out? Is it a long drive? It's not an exact science, it's just kind of a general idea of how much we want them to play and then we'll go from there."
There was a somber moment in practice when tackle David Steinmetz went down with an injury during drills. Players began kneeling and even said a quick prayer as team trainers evaluated the first-year offensive lineman out of Purdue. Practice was halted for several minutes until Steinmetz left on a cart.
"I thought that was a pretty interesting deal there because – he did get hurt," O'Brien said. "I'm not sure what it was. I think it was his ankle, but the team gathered around, I think that this early in training camp shows the care that the team has for each other. There's been some team building going on and I thought it was not a great thing for David to be hurt – I think he's going to be OK – but I thought it was interesting for the team how they reacted to that."
Running back Duke Johnson practiced for a second consecutive day. Johnson has been picking up the offense with relative ease. Much of what his role will be is similar to what he did in Freddie Kitchens' offense, according to O'Brien.
Deshaun Watson would not mind getting a few more reps in the upcoming preseason game. Last week against the Lions, Watson played the opening series and led the Texans on a touchdown drive. Watson completed 5-of-7 passes for 60 yards and threw a touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins.
"Every chance you get to play and step on that field is very important," Watson said. "It's more reps, so more reps is more experience, and more experience is more confidence and more opportunities for you to improve and get better, and get ready for the real action."
Buddy Howell played college football with "The Bachelorette" runner-up Tyler Cameron at Florida Atlantic.
"Great guy, great teammate," Howell said. "He was my tight end. He came in as a quarterback and switched to tight end. He blocked for me and I blocked for him to get the ball and all that stuff."
Howell said he definitely thought Hannah B. should have chosen Cameron for the final rose.
D.J. Reader loves barbecue and prefers his two-meat, two-side order as follows: pulled pork, pork ribs, mac and cheese and baked beans.
Jahleel Addae played linebacker in a playoff game for the Chargers last year. The veteran safety said he had about a week to learn the position. When asked if he thought he would play linebacker as a Texan, Addae said, "I'll do whatever they want me to."
The Texans will practice Thursday at the Houston Methodist Training Center. They will travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys on Saturday with kickoff set for 6 p.m. CT on ABC-13 and SportsRadio 610.