HOUSTON – On Monday, Bill O'Brien hinted at the possibility that Texans offensive stars Andre Johnson and Arian Foster could see some action against Atlanta on Saturday.
That might be true, but for now, the two still haven't even made it back to practice.
"If they were ready to go, we would put them back in there now," head coach Bill O'Brien said after practice. "It wouldn't be for 100 reps. We would ease them back into the practice."
Johnson spent most of the morning going through conditioning drills while Foster worked with new running backs Ronnie Brown and William Powell.
"If they said and the trainers said that they felt like they were ready to go, then we would ease them back into those practices against Atlanta," O'Brien said.
6th round pick FB Jay Prosch returns
Fullback and 6th round pick Jay Prosch returned to practice on Tuesday sporting a cast on his left hand.
According to O'Brien, Prosch suffered a broken hand, but the rookie wouldn't go into detail about the injury when asked after practice.
"I'm not talking about it," Prosch said.
O'Brien described the full back as a hard worker and someone who never takes a play off.
"He's one of those guys that hates to miss anything so it was good to have him back out there today with the taped-up cast on," O'Brien said. "He was trying to do as much as he could."
"I still have a lot to prove," Prosch said. "Missing part of camp is not what I want so I'm glad to be out here."
Texans ready to tangle with Falcons
Practice on Wednesday and Thursday will be a little different than usual.
Before the two teams tangle on Saturday, the Texans and Falcons will practice against one another in front of fans at the Methodist Training Center.
It will be a homecoming for several Falcons who used to call Houston home. Former Texas A&M star Jake Matthews was the 7th overall pick by the Falcons in May and played at Elkins High School.
Falcons running back Jacquizz Rogers also has ties to the area as he graduated from Lamar Consolidated High School before attending Oregon State.
Another player coming back "home" is former Texan QB TJ Yates. He was traded back in June to the Falcons after spending his entire career in Houston.
All the personal connections aside, the joint practices are a welcome difference for the players.
"It's a great opportunity to see other jerseys, seeing other schemes, and seeing new players. We've been hitting each other for a few weeks now, so it's a great opportunity to have a couple days of practice, where you see another team, you see different players," defensive end J.J. Watt said.
"Just little things like: you watch an offensive lineman, how he sets, how he does this, his hand placement, all of these little things. You get a new face to see that, so it's a good opportunity and it's going to be good competition."