Could be lead back
Houston head coach Lovie Smith has not named a lead back and will continue to evaluate Pierce among several candidates Friday when the Texans face the Rams in Los Angeles, Drew Dougherty of the Texans' official site reports. "I think you let guys play," Smith said. "They kind of tell you who should start, who should be on the roster, how many plays they should get. They all have a certain strength, and we'll let it play out."
Pierce was the lead story coming out of last week's preseason opener against the Saints, bolting for 20 yards on his first rushing attempt and finishing with 49 overall on five carries. He also showed up well in pass protection. Jonathan M. Alexander and Brooks Kubena of the Houston Chronicle talked about Pierce and the team's RB1 situation heading into Friday's contest. The hype in Houston has started, but it should be noted that Pierce's production came against New Orleans' second-unit defense. The Texans will need to evaluate him against a team's top unit; when the Saints defensive ones were on the field, Marlon Mack was stuffed on a pair of runs and Houston's offense went three-and-out on two drives. The major difference this week, however, will be Houston having most of its starting offensive line on the field.
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Johnson is active for Sunday's game against the Chargers, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com reports.
Brown (hip/shoulder) is inactive for Sunday's game versus the Chargers.
Akins was elevated to the Texans' active roster Saturday, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com reports.
Jordan (ankle) has been ruled out for Sunday's contest against the Chargers.
Brown (hip/shoulder) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game versus the Chargers.
Pierce (hip) returned to a full practice Thursday, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com reports.
Jordan (ankle) didn't participate in practice Thursday, Jonathan M. Alexander of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Pierce (hip) was limited at practice Wednesday, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com reports.
Jordan (ankle) wasn't present for the open portion of Wednesday's practice and will be listed as a non-participant on the Texans' first Week 4 injury report, Brooks Kubena of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Howard did not catch his lone target in Sunday's 23-20 loss to the Bears in Week 3.