Texans veteran tight end Jordan Akins was back practicing Tuesday in full pads, returning from calf tightness that had sidelined him since last week and forced him to miss a preseason victory over the Green Bay Packers.
Since being drafted in the third round by the Texans in 2018, Akins has caught 90 passes for 1,046 yards and three touchdowns on 129 career targets. He has started 20 of 45 games and last season caught 37 passes for 403 yards and one score on 49 targets despite missing three games with a high-ankle sprain and a concussion.
“The more comfortable you get in the NFL, the faster you can play,” Akins said. “After you adjust to the speed of the game, you can relax and play better. Now that I’ve got the speed down and the terminology, I have the experience. I’m very excited for the upcoming season, and I’m ready to show my talent.”
Meanwhile, linebacker Zach Cunningham, the leading tackler in the NFL, didn't practice Tuesday after practicing Monday.
Offensive guard Justin McCray left practice early with trainers. He appeared to be dealing with heat-related issues.
Not practicing, but in attendance: wide receiver Anthony Miller (slight shoulder dislocation, slated to return by first or second game of regular season), return specialist Andre Roberts (hasn't practiced since last week) and defensive end Jon Greenard (sprained ankle).
Offensive guard Lane Taylor (torn ACL last season) and offensive tackle Ross Blacklock (arthroscopic knee surgery, calf) remain on the active-physically unable to perform list, working out on the side during practice.
Offensive tackles Laremy Tunsil (positive test), Tytus Howard and Roderick Johnson (high risk-close contacts) are on the reserve-COVID-19 list.
Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson (trade request, legal issues) isn't practicing in an agreement with team officials, working out inside. Texans coach David Culley said that Watson, who missed practices earlier in camp with calf and ankle tightness, isn't injured.
Aaron Wilson has covered the NFL for 20 seasons, including the Texans, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars. He has previously written for The Houston Chronicle and The Baltimore Sun. He’s on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL and Instagram: @aaronwilson7128.