'Banged-up' Texans cancel Saints joint practices

Attrition was the major reason why the Texans decided to cancel a pair of joint practices with the New Orleans Saints.

Because of multiple injuries sustained throughout training camp, including some during joint practices with the Miami Dolphins and a preseason game Saturday night, Texans coach DeMeco Ryans contacted Saints coach Dennis Allen to cancel the scheduled practice sessions.

Instead, the Texans will practice in Houston on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in advance of their Sunday night preseason game against the Saints in New Orleans.

“With cancelling the joint practices with the Saints, it’s where we are as a team,” Ryans said Monday at NRG Stadium. “A little banged-up, so I thought it was in the best interest of our team and putting our guys first that we shouldn’t do the joint practices.

“Thankful to Dennis and the Saints for the opportunity to have the joint practice and with them working with us, being understandable. Everybody has been on board with what we’re doing, and one thing we always talk about is team-first mentality, and that went into the decision.”

Defensive tackle Roy Lopez left the Dolphins game, a 28-3 loss at NRG Stadium, with a hamstring injury that is not regarded as serious after having a magnetic resonance imaging exam, per a league source. Lopez was examined on the sideline in the blue medical tent, but remained on the field with his teammates.

Other minor injuries included tight end Nick Vannett rolling his ankle and remaining in the game and linebacker Garret Wallow limping off the field before returning to play.

Running backs Gerrid Doaks and Dare Ogunbowale were banged up from joint practices with the Dolphins and didn’t play.

Running back Mike Boone played through an oblique injury and caught a team-high four passes for 35 yards, including a 24-yard reception off a pass from Davis Mills out of the backfield.

Texans offensive tackle Tytus Howard is making steady progress in his recovery from broken hand and surgery Howard broke it in two places in practice and had metal hardware inserted to aid healing process. Howard has not been ruled out for a potential return as soon as the first game against the Baltimore Ravens, per a league source. Howard is no longer in a cast and is wearing a brace on his hand.

“I think Tytus is improving,” Ryans said. “He’s doing well. I’m just pleased with where he is, and look forward to him continuing to improve, but he’s headed on the right track, for sure.”

Several other players didn’t play Saturday, including defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway, linebackers Blake Cashman (minor hamstring injury) and Christian Kirksey (strained hamstring), tight end Brevin Jordan (strained hamstring), safety Brandon Hill (hamstring), defensive tackle Thomas Booker (hand in a cast), quarterback Case Keenum (soft-tissue leg injury), wide receiver Jared Wayne (Grade 2 hamstring strain, cornerback Jacobi Francis (sprained ankle), defensive end Chase Winovich and offensive tackle Charlie Heck (foot issue, physically unable to perform list).

“Chase is still dealing with some things, too,” Ryans said. “Hopefully, he can get back to us pretty soon.”

Rookie wide receiver Tank Dell didn’t play against the Dolphins.

Although Dell did warmups, he was held out of the game with a tight leg muscle. Dell is expected to return to practice relatively soon. Another reason why Dell didn’t play was load management after he had a considerable amount of mileage during the Texans’ joint practice sessions this week, per a source. Had this been a regular-season game, Dell would have played.

“Felt a little tightness there, Tank will be fine,” Ryans said Saturday. “We didn’t think it would be smart to put him out there, but Tank will be fine.”

On Monday, Ryans didn’t have anything new on the third-round draft pick from the University of Houston.

“We’ll see where he is,” Ryans said. “Still haven’t gotten an update, but we’ll see where he is.”

The New England Patriots cancelled their joint practices with the the Tennessee Titans after running back Isaiah Bolden sustained a concussion and was hospitalized overnight.

The Texans absorbed a 28-3 defeat to the Dolphins following some competitive joint practices.

While rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud and rookie defensive end Will Anderson Jr. had strong performances, the run defense and defense overall were sloppy with 205 rushing yards surrendered.

The Texans plan to launch their normal regular-season routine starting this week.

“It wouldn’t have been as productive as we would have liked it to be had we gone to New Orleans,” Ryans said. “On the flip side, there’s benefits for our entire team, our coaching staff to be able to go through the process of a normal in-season week. It’s things that we can control, which is encouraging.

“With these practices, our guys are still competing and what I want to see from our guys as we go out to practice is just improve on the fundamentals and the techniques. Things we need to improve on from the game, things we can get better at. It’s things that we can control, which is encouraging, and so that’s what I’m looking for is just hone in on the details of their assignments, the details of their job, and see if we can get a little bit better this week, and I think this will be a great opportunity to do that going against each other.”

Aaron Wilson is a contributor to Sports Talk 790.

Miami Dolphins v Houston Texans

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