ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Houston Texans wrapped up their week of practices against the Denver Broncos with a spirited session on Thursday. In two days they'll play the Broncos in their third preseason game.
The practices against other teams, five total between the Broncos and the Atlanta Falcons, have given the Texans many chances to see their players against opponents. Normally that chance in the preseason is limited to games. The Texans now have a little more leeway with who stays in the game for how long. The third preseason game is typically when teams give their starters the most playing time. But even then, the Texans might not give theirs much.
Some observations from today's practice:
Kicker Randy Bullock missed a field goal late in practice wide left and on the next play, rookie Chris Boswell just knocked his inside the left upright. Overall, though, Bullock's performances since the start of training camp have been better than Boswell's. Asked today who leads that battle, coach Bill O'Brien said Bullock, the Texans' incumbent kicker, does.
DeAndre Hopkins and DeVier Posey made the two best catches of the day. Hopkins made his after slipping on a route then recovering to get barely open for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Hopkins got his hands on the ball, but bobbled it as cornerback Chris Harris worked to catch it as well. Hopkins worked just a little bit harder and caught the ball with his feet inbounds.
Posey tip-toed his way to a touchdown on a nice pass from Case Keenum. "Case put the ball in a spot where only I could go get it or it was going to go out of bounds," Posey said. "I don’t know. I was just like ‘We’ll see what happens,’ and just try to tap my feet in and learn some stuff from 80."
Center Chris Myers, a former Denver Bronco, missed the entire week of practices. O'Brien insisted it had nothing to do with Myers' health.
Running back Arian Foster, receiver Andre Johnson and inside linebacker Brian Cushing all participated in practice today. The three have done a significant amount of team work during all three practices. O'Brien said he had not yet made the decision on if those players will play Saturday. That decision will rely on the thoughts of the Texans' training staff and also the players' own thoughts on their health.
Cornerback Johnathan Joseph participated in practice on a limited basis. Late during practice, Joseph ran sprints on an empty field. Texans' general manager Rick Smith joined him. Smith cheated, admittedly so. Joseph still caught him.