Texans rookie cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. isn't expected to play in a preseason game Saturday night against the New Orleans Saints.
The first-round draft pick was also a nonparticipant in drills as a designated day off. It's all according to the plan the Texans have established for the former LSU standout as maintenance for his surgically-repaired foot. Stingley is on schedule for the first game of the regular season and has excelled during full-team drills at times.
"We're not quite there yet," Lovie Smith said. "All of our players won't play, I'll say that, the first preseason game. We still haven't determined, of course, how much. A lot of times, when guys are coming off a major injury, we may wait a little bit, but we'll decide that as much as anything for Stingley. You see he’s out here practicing every day. He's right on schedule.”
Texans center Justin Britt is regularly given veteran's days off because of a previous knee injury. “We have a plan for a few of our guys that are coming off injuries," Smith said. "It's a scheduled day off for Derek, Justin Britt, and a few others, but as you can see, the days we've asked him to play, he's performed well and getting better. Learning, growing, love what he's doing.”
Texans' injury updates
Several players didn't practice, including rookie offensive guard Kenyon Green (knee), rookie linebacker Christian Harris (hamstring), tight end Antony Auclair (right knee), cornerback Kendall Sheffield, offensive tackle Tytus Howard (COVID-19), wide receiver Drew Estrada (leg), defensive end Rasheem Green, and wide receiver Chester Rogers (ankle). Long snapper Jon Weeks has returned to practice after missing a few days for personal reasons.
Kurt Hinish is an undrafted free agent to watch
Texans rookie defensive tackle Kurt Hinish is an undrafted free agent who has caught the eye of the coaching staff and personnel department.
At 6'2", 300 pounds, Hinish plays with a lot of power and technique at the line of scrimmage. The former Notre Dame standout has bench pressed 225 pounds 31 times with a 4.96 40-yard dash. He had 81 career tackles, 20 tackles for loss, and 7.5 sacks for the Fighting Irish. The Texans invested $85,000 guaranteed in the Pittsburgh native to sign him.
“You know, right now, training camp guys have shown up," Smith siad. "They flash from time to time. Now it's about the preseason games. Preseason is getting ready to come up. We are going to play a lot of those guys we don't know about, and kind of see how they play in the game. Love everything that Kurt's done.”
Quick hits from Texans training camp
Chad Beebe, a former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver whose father, Don Beebe, played for the Buffalo Bills and scored a touchdown in their epic comeback win over the Houston Oilers, is making a strong impression at camp with his sound hands and consistent routes.
"The greatest comeback. I know there's some hard feelings there, so I get a little leery of talking about it," Beebe said. "But it's hard not to be proud. My dad was a big part of that team, and that was a big upset. It's weird now being here in Houston. Everything is coming full circle. I'm so happy to be here. I'm just trying to take advantage of every opportunity."
Ogbo Okoronkwo is carving out a role as a pass rusher in the Texans' 4-3 defense. With his speed off the edge and polished spin move, the Houston native and former Super Bowl champion with the Los Angeles Rams figures into the Texans' game plan.
“He's on record of being a pass rusher in the league," Smith said of the former Oklahoma standout and Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year. "I mean, that's why we signed him, you know, to bring another local guy back home. He's a legitimate pass rusher, so we'll have a plan for him."
Aaron Wilson is a Pro Football Network reporter and analyst and a contributor to Sports Talk 790.