Texans rookie Tank Dell, Case Keenum return to practice

Texans rookie wide receiver Tank Dell returned to practice Wednesday after being held out of a preseason game against the Miami Dolphins as a precautionary measure due to hamstring and back tightness experienced during warmups.

Dell would likely have played if it had been a regular-season game.

Texans veteran quarterback Case Keenum returned to practice from a soft-tissue injury, and defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway and cornerback Jacobi Francis (ankle) are back practicing, too. Francis missed the game against the Dolphins.

Several players didn’t practice Wednesday, including fullback Andrew Beck, defensive tackle Thomas Booker (hand-wrist), offensive tackle Tytus Howard (broken hand, recovering from surgery), offensive tackle Kilian Zierer (sprained ankle), defensive end Chase Winovich, linebacker Blake Cashman (hamstring), linebacker Christian Kirksey (hamstring), tight end Brevin Jordan (hamstring), safety Brandon Hill (hamstring), wide receiver Jared Wayne (Grade 2 hamstring), offensive tackle Charlie Heck (foot, back, physically unable to perform list), defensive tackle Roy Lopez (hamstring), running backs Dare Ogunbowale and Gerrid Doaks.

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.

“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.”

The Texans launched their normal regular-season routine.

“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.

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