Alan Ball has missed the past two weeks with a foot injury.
And on Monday against the Patriots, the Texans looked like they could have used him. Or anybody else for that matter.
The Texans were torched by the Patriots and Tom Brady, who threw four touchdowns and zero interceptions.
“It’s coming along,” Ball said. “Just trying to get it better to the point where I feel good to play. This week it looks better than last week.”
Second-year corner Brandon Harris played a bit on Monday, filling in for Brice McCain as the nickel corner. He struggled. But so did the rest of the Texans’ secondary.
"It’s an opportunity to play," defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said of Harris. "He’s a young player. He made some plays and … we put him on Welker early and I thought he did a pretty good job there. Welker was a big threat and he did a good job in that area. He needs to make some other plays. He’s a hard worker, he’s very smart, quick and athletic guy. He just needs more playing time."
When Ball gets back, would he be thrown into the slot in Harris’ place? Would it work? Have they talked about it?
“Not really, hasn’t been discussed,” Ball said. “I just feel I have to prepare and when it’s time to deal with all that, we’ll deal with all that.
“Brandon Harris is doing a good job right now and that’s how it is as we’re going along. First thing I have to do is get healthy.”
But Ball said he has played the nickel corner role before and said he would be open to doing so again if the team called on him for it. After starters Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson, the corner position on the Texans isn’t real deep. They have Harris, rookie Roc Carmichael, newcomer Stanford Routt and Ball.
“In the past, I have (played the slot),” Ball said. “I’m comfortable with whatever. Wherever I’m needed, I’ll play. But Brandon Harris is doing a good job.”