2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Texans coach Kubiak concerned as injuries mount

    2012-11-23 13:16

(Eds: Updates with details, quotes. With AP Photos.)
By CHRIS DUNCAN
AP Sports Writer

HOUSTON (AP) - The Houston Texans won another thriller, but coach Gary Kubiak has growing concerns about the health of his team.

The Texans (10-1) rallied late to force overtime for the second straight game and beat Detroit 34-31 on Thanksgiving. Kubiak was back at Reliant Stadium early Friday morning, mulling over a sobering list of injuries to key players.

Linebackers Brooks Reed (groin) and Bradie James (hamstring), and starting right tackle Derek Newton (right knee) underwent MRI exams on Friday after getting hurt against the Lions. Tight end Garrett Graham hurt his left shoulder in the game, and Houston was already playing without starting cornerback Johnathan Joseph (hamstring), nose tackle Shaun Cody (back), linebacker Tim Dobbins (left shoulder) and backup running back Ben Tate (hamstring).

``We've got some damage this morning, no doubt about that,'' Kubiak said Friday, ``but it is a huge win.''

The Texans next play at Tennessee (4-6) on Dec. 2. Kubiak is giving his players the weekend off after a draining five days in which they played nearly 2 1/2 games.

On Sunday, Houston came back from 14 points down to beat Jacksonville 43-37 late in overtime, then rallied from a 10-point deficit in the third quarter to beat the Lions after just two days of light practice. The Texans gritted out a 13-6 win in rainy Chicago the previous week.

``I'm amazed at the players and the way they held up,'' Kubiak said. ``During that short period of time, to play that much football and in that competitive environment and the way we had to win the last week together, and even if you throw Chicago in there, it's been very taxing on the team.

``I just said that I think the biggest thing is, after what we've been through physically, winning was so important.''

Kubiak says he'd know more about the latest injuries on Monday.

Newton won the starting job at right tackle in training camp and has started every game. Ryan Harris, signed just before the season began, replaced Newton Thursday.

The linebacking corps, meanwhile, is suddenly the Texans' most depleted unit. Brian Cushing was already gone for the season with a torn left knee ligament. Dobbins stepped into Cushing's spot in the starting lineup, but he hurt his left shoulder in the Chicago game.

Reed, who has 2 1/2 sacks and 15 solo tackles this season, pulled up chasing Joique Bell on Thursday, and James left in the fourth quarter after assisting on a tackle of Mikel Leshoure.

Luckily for Kubiak, Darryl Sharpton is back after missing a year with a torn right quadriceps. Sharpton saw his first action since Oct. 30, 2011 against Jacksonville and then started in Detroit. The injuries also create more opportunity for first-round pick Whitney Mercilus, who had four solo tackles and two for loss on Thursday.

``We are in a mode of survival right there at that position until we get some guys healthy,'' Kubiak said.

Aside from the injuries, Kubiak is starting to have concerns about the defense, which was ranked fourth overall and seventh against the pass coming into the Lions game.

But Houston has given up 791 yards passing and six touchdown passes in the last two games, and Kubiak says the mounting injuries are becoming a factor.

``We have not played to our standard the last two weeks defensively,'' Kubiak said. ``Obviously, if we lined up today, we're missing three of our four starting linebackers,'' Kubiak said. ``I mean, that's a concern. Then, when your top corner sits down. There are some things there to say, `OK, we can be better if we can get healthy here.' But still, we've got to look at it and say, `That's not us.'''

The Texans escaped Detroit with a win when Shayne Graham kicked a 32-yard field goal with 2:21 left in overtime. Graham is 20 for 25 this season, but he missed a 51-yarder that would've given Houston the victory earlier in the extra period. He also badly hooked a 47-yarder at the end of regulation against Jacksonville.

Kubiak is also concerned that Graham's kickoffs are coming up short.

``He's just inconsistent hitting the ball and it's something we've been working on,'' Kubiak said. ``It is a concern because field position is so huge in the game. He has kicked pretty well for us. We expect him to make that kick at the end of the game. I know it's a 50-yarder, but that's our business, that's what he's here to do.''

Graham won the job when rookie Randy Bullock tore a groin muscle in training camp. Kubiak says he still has confidence in Graham, despite the recent misses.

``He's kicked in a lot of big games. He's made a lot of big kicks,'' Kubiak said. ``The situation with our kickoffs is something we're concerned about, but we have a lot of other issues with our team right now. So it's hard to go solve that with some of the other things we've got going on.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Jake LockerOct 23 01:32p

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker (thumb) will return to the starting quarterback job when he is healthy, according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt. The team has decided to start [ More ]

Calvin JohnsonOct 23 01:32p

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) has been more encouraged about the progress of his high right ankle sprain this week, even though he's been limited in practices so [ More ]

James StarksOct 23 01:22p

Green Bay Packers RB James Starks (ankle) is participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 23.

Jamaal CharlesOct 23 01:12p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (head) will participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23, and the team does not plan on adding him to their injury report.

Jadeveon ClowneyOct 23 12:42p

Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) said he would be surprised if he does not play in Week 8.

J. BabineauxOct 23 12:22p

Atlanta Falcons DT Jonathan Babineaux (foot) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LB Prince Shembo (knee) was limited during practice, while OG Justin Blalock (back) fully participated in practice.

Reggie WayneOct 23 12:12p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 23.

Ezekiel AnsahOct 23 12:03p

Detroit Lions DE Ziggy Ansah (toe) was limited during practice Thursday, Oct. 23, while RB Theo Riddick (hamstring) fully participated in practice.

Brian CushingOct 23 11:42a

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee) has had his knee drained multiple times over the last few weeks, according to a source. The team hopes that rest will help heal the knee.

Toby GerhartOct 23 10:42a

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Toby Gerhart (foot) appears ready to return in Week 8, in the opinion of beat writer Hays Carlyon. The team contends they will mix and match running backs.

Brandon PettigrewOct 23 10:23a

Detroit Lions DE Ziggy Ansah (toe) returned to practice Thursday, Oct. 23. TE Joseph Fauria (ankle), OT LaAdrian Waddle (calf) and TE Brandon Pettigrew (foot) sat out of practice.

Calvin JohnsonOct 23 10:12a

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) did a lot more in practice Thursday, Oct. 23, as he was cutting and running routes.

Reggie BushOct 23 10:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is not practicing Thursday, Oct. 23.

Nate WashingtonOct 23 09:41a

The Tennessee Titans have been fielding calls from teams for WR Nate Washington, who recently lost his starting job to WR Justin Hunter. Washington is in the final year [ More ]

Derek MoyeOct 23 02:33a

The St. Louis Rams auditioned free-agent WR Skye Dawson (Buccaneers) and WR Derek Moye on Tuesday, Oct. 21. Moye was eventually claimed by the Tennessee Titans on Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Larry DonnellOct 23 01:03a

New York Giants TE Larry Donnell is just scratching the surface, according to tight ends coach Kevin M. Gilbride. Some of his mistakes, including fumbles and blocking deficiencies, are [ More ]

Geoff SchwartzOct 23 01:03a

New York Giants OG Geoff Schwartz (toe) is destined to return to practice next week, but he still has a ways to go before he is ready for a [ More ]

Eli ManningOct 23 01:03a

New York Giants QB Eli Manning has completed 65 percent of his passes, which would be a career high. He also has 14 touchdown passes to just five interceptions, [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Oct 23 01:03a

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. might be moved around over the final nine games, according to receivers coach Sean Ryan. He said Wednesday, Oct. 22, that he [ More ]

Rueben RandleOct 23 01:03a

New York Giants WR Rueben Randle could be used in the slot over the final nine games, as the team works to replace WR Victor Cruz (knee). 'The other [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 23 12:53a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) said Wednesday, Oct. 22, that he expects to play in the Week 8 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was injured in the [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 22 11:43p

Updating a previous report, there is no chance Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) plays in the Week 8 game against the Dallas Cowboys Monday, Oct. 27, multiple sources said Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Zach MettenbergerOct 22 11:03p

The Tennessee Titans plan to start QB Zach Mettenberger in Week 8 against the Houston Texans, a source familiar with the situation said Wednesday, Oct. 22. Indications are Mettenberger [ More ]

Jake LockerOct 22 10:53p

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker (thumb) is in the final year of his contract after the team declined to pick up a fifth-year option. He is reportedly making progress [ More ]

LaMarr WoodleyOct 22 10:53p

Oakland Raiders DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) suffered a torn biceps in the Week 7 game against the Arizona Cardinals, a source said Wednesday, Oct. 22. It is believed his season is over.

Brian CushingOct 22 10:03p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee) will miss at least a week due to his knee injury. The ailment has been bothering him for the past two games.

Justin TuckOct 22 09:43p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), CB Keith McGill (groin), CB Carlos Rogers (knee), DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. [ More ]

Bobby WagnerOct 22 08:03p

Seattle Seahawks SS Kam Chancellor (ankle), DT Jordan Hill (ankle), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), C Max Unger (foot) and LB Bobby Wagner (toe) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. [ More ]

Zach MillerOct 22 08:03p

Seattle Seahawks FB Derrick Coleman (foot) and TE Zach Miller (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22, and they have been ruled out for Week 8 against the Carolina Panthers.

Frostee RuckerOct 22 06:53p

Arizona Cardinals DE Calais Campbell (knee) and TE Troy Niklas (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 22. S Rashad Johnson (knee) was limited, while DE Frostee Rucker (calf) practiced in full.

Johnathan JosephOct 22 06:53p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee), CB Johnathan Joseph (knee), CB Darryl Morris (ankle), LB Brooks Reed (groin), LB John Simon (ankle) and LB Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 22 06:33p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Donnie Avery (groin) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the St. Louis Rams. WR Junior Hemingway (hamstring) and CB Christopher Owens (knee) did [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group