Texans' Cooks, Collins, Stingley Jr. expected to miss Cowboys game

The Texans will be shorthanded at wide receiver against the Dallas Cowboys.

Both of their top two wide receivers, Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins, are expected to be out for Sunday's road game at AT&T Stadium.

Cooks will miss his second game in a row with a calf injury. Collins has a foot injury. Neither player has practiced all week.

Cooks leads the Texans with 44 receptions for 520 yards and one touchdown on 71 targets. Collins has 37 catches for 481 yards and two scores on 66 targets.

With those players out along with rookie cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. for the fourth week in a row due to a strained hamstring, the Texans will have to adjust. They'll lean on Phillip Dorsett and Chris Moore as their primary wide receivers, as they did against the Philadelphia Eagles when starting quarterback Davis Mills had two touchdown passes and two interceptions.

“I think Brandin might be out this week, and I’m not sure entirely about Nico," Mills said. "It’s like any other week. We have a full week of practice with the guys that are in. We’re extremely confident in the guys we have available to go out there and execute their jobs at a high level, so we’re excited about that. 

"It doesn’t fall entirely on the receiver room to have production. We have a lot of playmakers in the offense still with the tight ends and the running backs to make plays. We’re excited to continue building chemistry as we move on this week and go out there and execute our jobs on Sunday.”

Moore has 27 catches for 314 yards and two touchdowns on 40 target. Dorsett has caught 12 passes for 180 yards and one touchdown on 27 targets.

The Cowboys' defense allows just 179.8 passing yards per game, ranking second in the NFL in passing defense.

“We had a similar situation arise a few weeks back," offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton said. "We had to adapt and improvise. Without a doubt, it will be a tremendous challenge if we were in a situation where we didn’t play with both of those guys. I don’t foresee that being an issue.”

The Texans are expected to have wide receiver Amari Rodgers and running back Eno Benjamin active again. Neither had any touches or targets in a loss to the Cleveland Browns. That could change this week, though.

“Both guys have worked tirelessly to learn our offense and get on the same page with our quarterbacks," Hamilton said. "You guys understand how important it is that the quarterback can trust that the receiver is going to get to a spot and vice versa, the receivers can trust that the quarterback can make the appropriate throws. The more time our guys spend together, the more time on task they have, the better chances we have to go out and play efficient football. Those two guys have been working hard in practice.”

Aaron Wilson is a contributor to Sports Talk 790.

Los Angeles Chargers v Houston Texans

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