Texans' David Culley: 'We're playing on Sunday'

Despite a difficult situation involving the coronavirus pandemic, Texans coach David Culley was adamant about the status of an upcoming game against the Los Angeles Chargers at NRG Stadium.

"We're playing on Sunday," said Culley, who added that there are no new positive tests Friday morning and that this will be a pivotal day of testing for the AFC South franchise. "The whole league is having these problems. We'll be fine."

Culley's stance echoed what NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said when asked about the possibility of postponing the Texans' noon kickoff at NRG Stadium.

"No discussions," McCarthy said in multiple emails.

The Texans have 23 players currently on the reserve-COVID-19 list who have tested positive, including center Justin Britt, left tackle Tytus Howard,defensive tackle Roy Lopez, defensive end Jordan Jenkins, safety Eric Murray, cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr. defensive tackle Maliek Collins, defensive ends Jon Greenard, Derek Rivers, Jacob Martin, defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson, wide receiver Brandin Cooks, kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn, linebacker Eric Wilson, the Texans’ only unvaccinated player, per Culley, Johnson, linebackers Kamu Grugier-Hill, Christian Kirksey and Tae Davis, offensive guards Lane Taylor and Justin McCray, safeties A.J. Moore and Terrence Brooks, cornerback Terrance Mitchell along with practice squad cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc.

Culley indicated that DeMarcus Walker, who has been removed from the COVID-19 list and designated for return from injured reserve, could be active on Sunday along with Kirksey, who tested positive and has missed the past two games.

The Texans signed safety Grayland Arnold and defensive end Chris Smith to the 53-man roster from the practice squad. They activated running back Jaylon Samuels to the practice squad from the reserve COVID-19 list.

If no one is activated from the defensive line, the Texans would have to go with Ross Blacklock as one of the defensive tackles along with newly-signed Xavier Williams, Smith at defensive end and a combination of Ron'Dell Carter and Demone Harris. Walker, if activated, could start at defensive end or defensive tackle with his positional flexibility.

Culley said that the offensive line configuration is probably going to be left tackle Geron Christian, left guard Cole Toner, rookie center Jimmy Morrissey, right guard Max Scharping and right tackle Charlie Heck.

Wide receiver Danny Amendola, designated for return from injured reserve after being sidelined with a torn meniscus that required surgery, has returned to practice and is a possibility to play.

The Chargers have defensive end Joey Bosa and running back Austin Ekeler among 11 players on the COVID-19 reserve list.

Houston Texans v Miami Dolphins

Photo: Getty Images

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