Justin Britt is making progress toward returning to play with Texans coach David Culley expressing guarded optimism that the veteran center could be back for Sunday's home game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Britt was designated for return from injured reserve last week and practiced for the first time last Friday.
Britt has been dealing with a hyperextended knee and a bruise, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly.
Britt didn't play inSunday's 21-14loss to the New York Jets as rookie center Jimmy Morrissey started his third consecutive game. The former Las Vegas Raiders seventh-round draft pick from Pitt allowed one sack on a powerful bull rush from Jets defensive lineman Quinnen Williams.
The Texans' offensive line shifted Tytus Howard to left tackle in place of Geron Christian Sr., with Lane Taylor promoted from the practice squad and starting at left guard.
The Texans allowed five sacks, eight tackles for losses and seven quarterback hits against the Jets.
Signed to a one-year, $5 million contract this offseason, Britt is a former Pro Bowl alternate for the Seattle Seahawks who started in a Super Bowl. He has played center primarily after shifting from right tackle and left guard.
“We hope so," Culley said of Britt's status. "We will see what happens when we go out there on Wednesday, but we are hoping to see what he does and see if we can get him back. He actually practiced a day last week, but he wasn’t ready.”
Meanwhile, Pro Bowl left tackle Laremy Tunsil remains on injured reserve after undergoing thumb surgery to repair a torn ligament. Culley has not ruled out Tunsil returning at some point this season.
“I hope so, I’m hoping he does," Culley said. "Looking for him too.”