Jacques Reeves (Getty Images)
The road which is the Houston Texans training camp has included several speed bumps thus far. Cornerback Dunta Robinson is missing in action because of a contract dispute, and Owen Daniels and DeMeco Ryans, although attending, haven’t been pleased with their contract situations. Read on for more complications.
Just a few practices in, the team’s priciest free agent acquisition, defensive end Antonio Smith got into a verbal altercation with coach Bill Kollar. The Texans are downplaying the incident.
"That's part of competition,” Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said. “The guys are competing, and one of the things we talk about as a football team all the time once camp gets started is operating in stressful environments, and we're in one. Nowadays, with the open practices and those types of things, unfortunately things sometimes are going to get heated up and fans may see something like that, but you just address it.”
Aside from the potential attitude issues with the team, the injury bug has struck as well. Center Chris Myers got “rolled up on” during practice and cornerback Jacques Reeves suffered a broken fibula.
"He got rolled up,” Kubiak said of Myers injury. “We were pretty sloppy this morning as a team, and we were on the play and the back got pushed into him and he got rolled up. So we'll sit here and hope for the best, go get a look at it."
It’s unclear whether Myers will miss any significant time, but the team does have a potential replacement in third-round draft pick Antoine Caldwell ready to step in, along with veteran Chris White.
"Obviously, and (G Mike) Brisiel can move over and play some center, too, but it's going to create a bunch of reps for those guys, so they'll have to step to the plate and do a good job, assuming that Chris may miss some time," Kubiak told reporters.
The Reeves injury appears to be more serious as he is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.
“You come out here every day and you want every guy healthy,” the Texans head coach said of his team’s unhealthy start. “The key to staying healthy is keeping people off the ground and practicing fast, and we didn't do that today. We were sloppy as a football team."
Although Reeves was far from spectacular in his first season with the Texans in 2008, his injury along with the holdout of Dunta Robinson really limits the team’s depth in the secondary, as rookies Glover Quin and Brice McCain could be forced into action that they may not be ready for.
The Texans have certainly had an ominous start to the 2009 season, and this young team must persevere as they did in the second half of last year.