Had a discussion a few weeks ago with some other reporters about which player the Texans could least afford to lose and an under-the-radar name that came up among the Matt Schaub/J.J. Watt/Brian Cushing discussion was that of left tackle Duane Brown.
The Texans might have the misfortune of testing that theory this weekend in Baltimore.
"Injured my right big toe," Brown said during his weekly appearance on CSN Houston's Sports Talk Live. "It's a pretty bad case of turf toe. Just taking it one day at a time, see how it heals by the end of the week."
Brown was asked if he was a game-time decision.
"That's what it looks like right now," he said. "We have practice tomorrow, Thursday and Friday. We'll just see, man. I really can't tell you how it's gonna work out. I'd love to be out there at Baltimore this weekend. But I really don't know right now."
Brown has been an extremely consistent player for the Texans and one of the best left tackles in the NFL throughout his career, though he struggled a bit against Dwight Freeney in San Diego. Injuries haven't been a problem for Brown, but during organized team activities Brown had ankle surgery to shave a bone spur. That surgery, though, didn't have any impact on the regular season.
The scare came this past Sunday against the Titans, when Brown was slow getting up after an injury in the second quarter. He missed the rest of the offensive drive, being attended to by trainers examining his foot. They continued to do so during the Titans' next drive and when it was over, Brown returned for the rest of the game.
An especially gutty move considering what we know now.