According to the Bengals, they will need "a significant increase" in the pace of ticket sales this week to avoid being blacked out.
By league rule, if Sunday's 1 p.m. ET game is not sold out by Thursday afternoon, home television markets in the Cincinnati area will not be able to show the broadcast of the Bengals, who are on a four-game winning streak. The Texans are 2-3.
There is a chance the team could get a 24-hour extension to avoid the blackout.
The Bengals have sold out 46 straight home games in the regular season and playoffs, but Ohio has been one of the hardest-hit areas during the economic recession.
Coincidentally, the previous Bengals home game that did not sell out also was against Houston, on Nov. 9, 2003, when both teams were 3-5.
James Walker covers the AFC North for ESPN.com.