Texans' Kyle Allen to back up Mills; Jordan Akins, Grayland Arnold elevated

CHICAGO -- Kyle Allen is slated to back up Texans starting quarterback Davis Mills on Sunday against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

A former University of Houston quarterback who has played for the Carolina Panthers and Washington, Allen is the listed backup on the depth chart. He was inactive for the first two games of the season as practice squad quarterback Jeff Driskel was elevated twice and ran for first downs against the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts.

Allen was signed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract with a maximum value of $3 million during the offseason. He played in two games last season and completed 12 of 19 passes for 120 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. He rushed for 11 yards on two carries.

Driskel played in two snaps against the Broncos and had a 10-yard run. He had a five-yard run against the Colts.

Texans veteran tight end Jordan Akins was elevated from the practice squad with tight end Brevin Jordan out due to an ankle injury.

The Texans also elevated former Baylor safety Grayland Arnold from the practice squad.

After he signed with the New York Giants this offseason, the former third-round draft pick from Central Florida was released by the Giants and then rejoined the Texans on their practice squad.

Akins had 24 receptions for 214 yards on 33 targets in 13 games and three starts last season for the Texans.

He has 114 career receptions for 1,260 yards and three touchdowns, all with the Texans

Two seasons ago, Akins caught 37 passes for 403 yards and one touchdown.

Meanwhile, undrafted rookie defensive tackle Kurt Hinish was downgraded to out from questionable on the injury report due to a foot injury. He didn't travel with the team to Chicago.

Houston Texans v Los Angeles Rams

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Sources: Texans work out three defensive linemen, including Tim Ward, Chris Hinton 

The Texans worked out three free agent defensive lineman Friday.

The Texans worked out defensive tackles Christopher Hinton (Michigan) and Justin Zimmer (Ferris State) and defensive end Tim Ward (Old Dominion), according to league sources. None were immediately signed to a contract.

Ward (6-foot-6, 255 pounds) was previously with the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets. He has 11 career tackles and one sack. He earned a Super Bowl ring with the Chiefs. He started against the Los Angeles Chargers in 2020 for the Chiefs and had five tackles and one sack. He was cut by the Jets in August.

Hinton is the son of former Indianapolis Colts seven-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Chris Hinton.

Hinton had 32 tackles and one sack in his final season for the Wolverines.

He signed with the New York Giants after undrafted.

Zimmer has played for the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills and the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League. He has 34 career tackles and two sacks. He was placed on injured reserve last season for the Bills with a knee injury.

Texans' Steven Nelson didn't practice Friday for personal reasons, to start against Bears

Texans veteran cornerback Steven Nelson didn't practice Friday for personal reasons and is slated to be back with the team and start Sunday's road game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

Nelson has the highest pass coverage grade on the team and has allowed just four receptions for 40 yards on 10 targets with one touchdown.

Nelson, who previously started for the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers, signed a two-year, $10 million contract this offseason.

Nelson has recorded 10 tackles, one for a loss, and three passes defensed this season.

Nelson has played in 100 career games with 351 tackles, 11 for losses, eight interceptions and 62 passes defensed.

The Texans officially ruled out tight end Brevin Jordan due to an ankle injury along with offensive tackle Austin Deculus along with cornerback Isaac Yiadom (thigh). Defensive tackle Maliek Collins (knee) is questionable, but set to play, per a league source.

Texans starting tight end Pharaoh Brown is set to play Sunday in a road game against the Chicago Bears after undergoing a magnetic resonance imaging exam for a shoulder injury, according to a league source.  

Brown aggravated scar tissue in his shoulder from a previous injury when he fell awkwardly in a loss to the Denver Broncos. He's listed as questionable.

Jordan didn't practice all week due to an ankle injury. The Texans are expected to elevate tight end Jordan Akins from their practice squad to the active roster.

Deculus (Cy-Fair) is out indefinitely with a foot-ankle injury suffered during practice, according to a league source. He was officially ruled out along 

Deculus was drafted in the sixth round out of LSU.

Experienced, durable, and big, Deculus played in more games than any player in LSU history. 

He played in 61 career games in five seasons for the Tigers. He started 46 career games, including a national championship game victory over Clemson.

A four-year starter and former four-star recruit from Cy-Fair High School in Cypress, Deculus played in the East-West Shrine Bowl all-star game. He started 12 games last season and played 829 snaps.

Aaron Wilson is a Pro Football Network reporter and a contributor to Sports Talk 790.

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