Camp Day 9 Notes: Foster’s back; Cushing works

Camp Day 9 Notes: Foster’s back; Cushing works
August 4, 2013, 11:30 am
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James Palmer reports from Texans camp: Watt, Sharpton

(Thomas Campbell - USA Today Sports Images)

While a lot of the buzz around Sunday morning’s training camp session focused around J.J. Watt’s being limited with a sore elbow, there was plenty of other news too.

Arian Foster started training camp on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list because of a calf strain he suffered during OTAs.

But he’s still on the PUP list because of a sore back.

On Sunday, head coach Gary Kubiak said Foster’s calf is fine, but a sore back is what’s keeping him out of practice. Kubiak said Foster started to feel some soreness his back a couple weeks ago. Kubiak doesn't think the two injuries are related.

“I expected him today and it didn’t happen,” Kubiak said.

Brian Cushing took another big step in his ACL recovery. The leader of the Texans’ defense participated in 11-on-11 drills with pads for the first time. Before, he had done 7-on-7s and non-padded 11-on-11s but on Sunday he was involved in as close to the Texans get to game action.

Kubiak said Cushing is basically a full-time participant.

A slightly scary moment for the Texans on Sunday morning when Brooks Reed needed to get his knee checked out. He went to the trainer’s tent after, according to Kubiak, he banged knees with Owen Daniels. He returned to practice shortly after but was held out of the afternoon session. Kubiak expects him to be ready on Monday morning.

Darryl Sharpton was removed from the Non-football Injury list and was a full participant in Sunday’s practice.

Sharpton was expected to enter training camp as the starting inside linebacker next to Brian Cushing but reported with a groin injury he suffered while training. Now, he’s in a battle with recently acquired Joe Mays for that starting spot.

“Sharpton’s back to work,” Kubiak said. “He brought some intensity to practice. That’s what Sharp is, he’s a banger. And it’s just great to have him out here. If this kid can stay in one piece, he’s a heckuva player and can really help this team. We have our fingers crossed that we can keep going in the right direction.”

Ben Tate, Whitney Mercilus and Brennan Williams are still all not back at practice. But Daniel Muir and Jeff Maehl were. Kubiak hopes Tate will be back Monday or Tuesday. Sam Montgomery was back for position drills but didn't participate in team.

Observations

  • With Arian Foster and Bet Tate missing with injuries, the four guys fighting for that third running back spot have gotten significant reps, especially Dennis Johnson from Arkansas.

Johnson has been having a very good camp and has established himself as the favorite, in many eyes, to win a spot on the roster. The 5-7 running back said he’s looking forward to the preseason games, which start on Friday.

  • The team portion of practice on Sunday started with a nice leaping catch from Andre Johnson.
  • DeAndre Hopkins made a nice play on a ball, re-adjusting his body to make a catch against Johnathan Joseph.
  • Alec Lemon continued to impress. He had a nice over-the-shoulder catch on a ball from Case Keenum.
  • Garrett Graham had a really nice day. He got a late start to camp after missing some time with a virus that put him in the hospital. He might end up being a big part of the offense this season.