News: Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick acknowledged a need to get Johnson (ankle) the ball more following Monday night's loss to the Steelers, CSN Houston reports. "My job is to get the ball to our play-makers and I didn't get it to Andre nearly enough early," Fitzpatrick said.
Impact: Indeed, Johnson was sitting at one catch for four yards after three quarters before he became a big target in the fourth. Head coach Bill O'Brien said Johnson was open throughout the game, while Fitzpatrick said the Steelers were doing some things to prevent the ball from getting to Johnson, but he also took some measure of the blame for the wideout's low-target numbers through three quarters.
News: Clowney (knee) was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice, the Houston Chronicle reports.
Impact: Head coach Bill O'Brien will get a better handle on Clowney's status Thursday when the Texans get more physical. At this point, O'Brien characterizes the rookie linebacker as a game-time decision.
News: Cushing will sit out at least one game to rest his sore knee, according to NFL.com.
Impact: Cushing has apparently been playing at less than 100 percent the last two weeks, so the Texans will give him a chance to get healthy. The Texans play two games before their Week 10 bye, so it's possible Cushing could miss at least one more game if his knee does not heal up as hoped.
News: Mallett will get work during practice this week leading up to Sunday's game against Tennessee, but head coach Bill O'Brien is still behind Ryan Fitzpatrick as the team's starting quarterback, the Houston Chronicle reports. "We're going to continue to work with both of these guys in practice, and we'll see how it improves," O'Brien said.
Impact: The coach has had to answer questions about the starting quarterback after each of the last two games. Fitzpatrick has thrown seven interceptions (tied 3rd) and ranks 22nd in terms of quarterback rating. In responding to questions about what it would take for Mallett to get some playing time, O'Brien responded that while Mallett has a better grasp of the offense after seven weeks, he needs to become more consistently accurate.
News: Head coach Bill O'Brien once again stood by Fitzpatrick as the team's starting quarterback, the Houston Chronicle reports.
Impact: O'Brien is having to answer questions weekly about his starting quarterback due to Fitzpatrick's uneven performance through seven games. The coach said Fitzpatrick is the starter, but also mentioned backup Ryan Mallett in his response, indicating that "we're going to continue to work with both of these guys in practice, and we'll see how it improves."
News: Posey has been inactive for all seven games this season because head coach Bill O'Brien hasn't needed him in the game plan, the Houston Chronicle reports. "When we look at our 46 (man) gameday roster, we're looking at special teams, we're looking at our offensive game plan," O'Brien said.
Impact: On game days, O'Brien has carried Keyshawn Martin and Damaris Johnson, both of whom are experienced return specialists. Additionally, Houston's offensive game plan for most weeks is to ride running back Arian Foster as much as it can. So, the opportunities aren't there for Posey.
News: Clowney (knee) will get a full week of practice leading up to Sunday's game against the Titans, the Houston Chronicle reports.
Impact: The Chronicle also reports that Clowney is not guaranteed to start if he returns. Head coach Bill O'Brien has been pleased with the play of fill-in Whitney Mercilus, who's coming off a two-sack game Monday night against the Steelers. Still, a player of Clowney's caliber should help a defense that has generated just 13 sacks to date.