Notes and Quotes: Sick days and sicker cleats

The Houston Texans will host the Indianapolis Colts for their second and final matchup of the 2021 regular season. The first time the two teams played in Week 6, Tyrod Taylor was on the Reserve/Injured list and the Texans defense hadn’t quite begun to come together.

Here are the top stories and quotes from the week:

The Texans defense has given up fewer big plays in recent weeks. Defensive Coordinator Lovie Smith said the expectation is on the secondary to keep the ball in front of them. Eric Murray also moved into the nickel position and has played well.

“We are not the same team we were back then,” Smith said. “We’ve grown a lot, the discipline of the defense, we’ve seen a lot more, but it’s easy to say that when someone beats you up the way they did us the first time, you want another shot. We get our shot at home, so we are excited about it.”

The Texans did not practice on Wednesday after deciding to cancel all in-person team activities and work virtually. The move was made out of an abundance of caution and players returned to the facility on Thursday for a normal day of practice and meetings. Although on Thursday, four players did not practice due to illness, including WR Brandin Cooks, RB David Johnson, WR Chris Conley and DB Terrance Mitchell.

OL Justin Britt practiced for a second week after being designated…

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