Texans Report Miller nears return to action
After Texans running back Lamar Miller sprained his ankle against the Jets, he went back into the game for a series Saturday night and was taken out and replaced by backup Alfred Blue.
While he was on the sideline, Miller kept running and cutting and testing out his ankle throughout the second half of a 29-22 win.
Now, Miller is practicing, albeit on a limited basis, heading into Sunday’s game at Philadelphia. It all points toward a good chance Miller is able to play this week, barring a setback.
“I’m just taking it day by day,” Miller said. “Yes, it’s positive signs. … It could have been a lot worse. I’m thankful.”
Miller wanted to go back in the game, but was eventually ruled out for fear that he would aggravate it. The Texans finished with just 47 rushing yards.
“I wanted to go back out there to compete with my teammates and try to help this team win,” Miller said. “But I have to be smart and make the right decision for the team.”
The timing of the injury is rough on Miller, who leads the Texans with 917 rushing yards and four touchdowns and has caught 23 passes for 163 yards and one score.
“It’s very frustrating, but a lot of guys have little bruises and nicks,” Miller said. “It’s part of the game.”
Running back D’Onta Foreman is inching closer toward being active Sunday and potentially playing in a game for the first time since he tore his Achilles tendon as a rookie last year against the Cardinals.
Activated earlier this month from the reserve-physically unable to perform list, Foreman could be needed this week because starter Lamar Miller is recovering from a sprained ankle.
“I still don’t know what they’ll have me do for this week,” Foreman said Thursday. “If they let me play, I’ll definitely be ready. No, I don’t feel rusty. I’m good. I’ve been running, done a lot of cutting, a lot of catching the ball.
“I just need to put it together. I haven’t been tackled. That will be a little bit different for me. I haven’t been taken to the ground, and protecting the football is a big thing.”
Foreman rushed for 327 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie, flashing explosiveness and power. He is hopeful he can contribute soon.
“It’s what I’ve been working for, it’s been a long time, over a year,” Foreman said. “Whenever they let me know something and call my number, I’ll be ready to go. This is the stuff you dream about as kids, being in the moment.
“I’ve been dreaming about getting back on the field for a long time. All the focus is just on winning the game, whether I play or not.”
Eagles’ Cox will pose challenge
Disruptive and dominant, Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox is extremely difficult to block.
The four-time Pro Bowl selection has a career-high 7½ sacks this season. He should be a tough assignment for a Texans offensive line that has allowed quarterback Deshaun Watson to be sacked 52 times and hit 110 times overall heading into Sunday’s game at Lincoln Financial Field.
“It’s hard to put into words,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said. “He’s one of the best players that we’ve played against. We’ve played against him a couple of times here a few years ago. He’s just so big and powerful, so instinctive, very, very hard to handle. Has the ability to edge rush you, has the ability to bull rush you, plays really well against the run.
“He’s just one of those guys that can wreck a game. It’s hard because of where he plays in the defense. There’s going to be some one-on-ones, there’s going to be some times where we can get a couple of guys on him, but it’s a very, very difficult challenge.”
Reid eyes clash of Stanford exes
For Texans rookie safety Justin Reid, a Sunday matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles is particularly significant.
Reid gets to test his skills against Zach Ertz, one of the top tight ends in the game and a fellow former Stanford standout.
Ertz is a 6-5, 250-pound Pro Bowl selection who has caught a career-high 101 passes for 1,038 yards and six touchdowns.
“I know Ertz a little bit, I don’t know him super close, but I’ve seen him around campus a few times,” Reid said. “It’s an unbelievable opportunity. These are the kind of things you live for when you’re growing up as a kid, to go up against Zach Ertz or Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski.
“Those are the dudes I really want to play against, so it’s an exciting opportunity to go up against him. Him being a Stanford guy, it adds a little bit more to the matchup to line up against him.”