HOUSTON—Texans coach Gary Kubiak says tight end Owen Daniels was "very limited’ in practice with a back injury on Friday and could miss Sunday’s game in Chicago.
Daniels, Houston’s second-leading receiver, sat out practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Kubiak says he’ll be a "game-time decision" when the Texans (7-1) play the Bears (7-1) on Sunday night.
"He was very limited," Kubiak said. "He did some of the individual stuff early in practice, took a couple of reps, still very sore. We’ve got a little extra time, because we play Sunday night, so we’ll continue to give him every opportunity to get there. I know it’s very important to him, but we’ve got a ways to go."
Chicago said wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who has missed the past few games to recover from a fractured right hand, practiced Friday, but was listed as doubtful for the game.
Kubiak said nose tackle Shaun Cody (ribs) and backup running back Ben Tate (hamstring) will definitely sit out. Tate also missed last week’s game against Buffalo.
Daniels leads the Texans with five TD receptions and ranks second in receptions (37) behind Andre Johnson. Daniels did not speak to reporters on Friday.
Kubiak said Garrett Graham and James Casey will pick up more snaps if Daniels can’t play.
Graham, a fourth-round draft pick in 2010, has 10 catches this season scored a touchdown in last week’s win over Buffalo. Casey, technically a fullback, has proven to be one of the Texans’ most versatile offensive players, and he could play about 60 plays on Sunday, up from his usual 30-35. Casey has 21 catches for 211 yards and a touchdown this year.
"James is ready to do that," Kubiak said. "He’s taken advantage of his opportunities, he’s very smart, does a lot of things for me. I’m excited about his opportunity to do more for the team, he’s had a good week of practice."
Kubiak said he would also use fullback Tyler Clutts more in the offense. The Texans acquired Clutts in a trade with Chicago just before the regular season began. Clutts has played in all eight games this season, but has yet to touch the ball.
"You’re gonna see him," Kubiak said. "He’s going to play special teams, but something’s got to give there. James has got to have a break, Garrett’s got to have a break. You’re talking about three players being able to handle about five spots for what we do offensively, so you’re going to see Clutts be a part of this game."