The Texans gained a lot of reinforcements at practice Wednesday morning under the NFL's adapted COVID-19 protocols.
The Texans activated 14 players from the reserve-COVID-19 list, including veteran wide receiver Brandin Cooks as they returned to practice.
The Texans also got back center Justin Britt, left guard Lane Taylor, defensive linemen Jon Greenard, Roy Lopez, Derek Rivers, Jaleel Johnson, Jordan Jenkins, linebackers Kamu Grugier-Hill, Eric Wilson and Neville Hewitt, kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn and safeties Eric Murray and A.J. Moore.
They also activated cornerback Cre'Von LeBlanc from the practice squad-COVID-19 list.
Cooks is activated from the list and appear set to play against the San Francisco 49ers after missing a game against the Los Angeles Chargers due to a positive test.
“It’ll be exciting to have him back, obviously," Texans rookie quarterback Davis Mills said. "Brandin was back, Justin Britt was back and a bunch of others. The team’s coming back together and everyone’s excited to attack it moving forward."
Currently on the Texans' reserve-COVID-19 list: running back David Johnson, offensive tackle Tytus Howard, cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr., fullback Paul Quessenberry, injured linebacker Tae Davis, wide receiver Chris Moore and defensive end Ron'Dell Carter and kicker Dominik Eberle.
Cooks leads the Texans with 80 receptions for 945 yards and five touchdowns. He also leads the Texans with 968 yards from scrimmage.
"It’s a hard job to fill Brandin’s shoes," Moore said before the Chargers game. "He does a lot. He’s a special player on the field."
Cooks caught a pair of touchdown passes against the Jacksonville Jaguars during a 30-16 victory.
Not having Cooks represented a major blow to the Texans' offense. The former New Orleans Saints first-round draft pick has 563 career receptions for 7,825 and 45 touchdowns.
Against the Chargers, wide receivers Chris Conley and Nico Collins both caught touchdown passes from Mills.
Now, the offense, defense and special teams have been fortified with the return of so many players.
“It’s definitely helpful for the team to see everybody coming back from off the list and getting guys out there running around," cornerback Desmond King said. "Just getting back acclimated to the team and the playbook.”