Texans could be without Graham again

December, 19, 2013
12/19/13
2:37
PM ET
HOUSTON -- Houston Texans tight end Garrett Graham missed practice again on Thursday, making this week look a lot like last week.

Consequently, head coach Wade Phillips said he isn't optimistic about Graham's chances to play this weekend against the Denver Broncos. If he can't go, that would give rookie Ryan Griffin his second start.

Griffin led the Texans with six receptions for 62 yards on Sunday. He caught every one of his targets. Andre Johnson was second in receptions, catching four passes on 10 targets, and DeAndre Hopkins was second in receiving yards, catching three passes for 52 yards.

Complicating matters is that fullback Brad Smelley, who plays a hybrid role in the offense, missed practice as well with a back injury, Phillips said.

Smelley gave the Texans another player who could block, which really isn't Griffin's strength, and catch passes. Without him the Texans would be left with one tight end available and one fullback available in Greg Jones.

It's possible the Texans bring tight end Phillip Supernaw up from the practice squad -- he was signed on Wednesday -- to help their numbers.

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter

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