Lechler hospitalized, says he'll play

HOUSTON -- This is a big one for Shane Lechler, playing against the team with which he spent the first 13 years of his career.

Wednesday, Lechler told Texans coach Gary Kubiak he would be playing Sunday, despite being hospitalized with the flu.

"He will stay tonight and he’s expected to be released tomorrow," Kubiak said. "You may not see him here all week. He sent word to me today, ‘Hey, I’ll definitely be there to do my job.’ I think he’ll be OK."

What will he do if Lechler can't play?

"Go for it, I guess," Kubiak said, with a bit of a smirk. He then added that kicker Randy Bullock could punt.

Bigger concerns might have to do with inside linebacker Joe Mays and cornerback Kareem Jackson. Both players missed practice again, Jackson with a chest injury and Mays with a knee and oblique injury.

Losing Jackson would mean the Texans would start Brice McCain, who struggled in coverage last week. Without Mays, the Texans could start Jeff Tarpinian, who signed on Oct. 27.

Here we go again with the linebackers, right? Last season the Texans' inside linebacker position was devastated by injuries to Brian Cushing, Tim Dobbins and Darryl Sharpton forcing them to rely heavily on in-season signee Barrett Ruud.