Good news/bad news for Texans O-line

The good news for the Texans' offensive line: Left tackle Duane Brown practiced again Wednesday and coach Gary Kubiak sounded more optimistic than he has previously about Brown's return from a turf toe injury. Brown has missed the past two games after suffering the injury against the Tennessee Titans.

The bad news for the Texans' offensive line: Right guard Brandon Brooks suffered a toe injury of his own and wore a walking boot afterward. He didn't practice at all on Wednesday.

What it all means: Brown's return would be big for the Texans. His backup, Ryan Harris, has played well, but right tackle Derek Newton hasn't this season. If Brown returns to the lineup, it would offer an upgrade at left tackle, but it would also offer an upgrade at right tackle, because the Texans would then have the freedom to move Harris to that spot. I'm not sure they're planning on that just yet, but it would improve the unit overall. The loss of Brooks could be a big problem for a line that needs guard depth. Last week Ben Jones relieved Wade Smith at left guard for a series, Kubiak said, in order to preserve Smith who had knee surgery in the preseason.

Other injury news: Brian Cushing is still in the concussion protocol, but participated in practice. Tim Dobbins, another inside linebacker, did not practice at all Wednesday.