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Whitney Mercilus stepping up

Outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus is often steady and consistent, according to defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel.

But in Jacksonville, he came up big for the Texans with two sacks and three quarterback hits on Blake Bortles. It was his sixth game with more than one sack and a direct result of taking advantage of any opportunities in the game, Mercilus said.

"Whitney probably played his best game last week, and just needs to be consistent with that," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "Whitney did a good job last year, at times this year has done a good job, at other times not so good. I think last week's game was a good game for him and now hopefully that gives him a little bit of a springboard here to keep playing well."

Mercilus had been dealing with a significant thigh bruise over the past few weeks, and was even listed as questionable in Week 5 against Indianapolis. He was a full participant in practice leading up to the Texans 31-20 win in Jacksonville.

"I think he's a really hard worker. He's coached really hard and really well by (Linebackers Coach) Mike (Vrabel), and I think he's a guy that he's playing through some bumps and bruises and I think you saw a guy that was healthy last week," O'Brien said. "He had a very significant thigh bruise for a few weeks there and he played through it. This guy is a tough guy. Good teammate, and I thought he had his best game last week and hopefully he can continue that."

The Texans travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins on Sunday. Kickoff is set for noon C.T. on CBS KHOU-11 and SportsRadio 610.

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