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Texans Hoping Trip To Desert Brings Relief

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By Dave Thomas

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 13: Head coach Gary Kubiak of the Houston Texans scratches his head as he leaves the field after being defeated 38-13 by the St. Louis Rams at Reliant Stadium on October 13, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

(Credit, Bob Levey/Getty Images)

If the Houston Texans seem like a snake-bitten team these days, they probably have just about every right to feel that way.

With that in mind, the Texans embark this weekend on a trip to the desert, meeting the 4-4 Arizona Cardinals in Glendale. At this point, the Texans will be happy to win a game just about by any means necessary.

What started out on a positive note as a 2-0 season has quickly come crashing back down to Earth, as the Texans have been left reeling with a six-game losing streak.

To make matters worse, head coach Gary Kubiak collapsed on his way into the locker room last Sunday evening during the team’s lost to Indianapolis. The team reported during the week that Kubiak had suffered what was described as a “mini-stroke” during the game, with his return to the sidelines questionable at this point and time. As a result, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips takes over temporarily as the head boss.

Whether Phillips or Kubiak is in charge, the bottom line is that this team is a mess right now.

Houston Needs a Win to Boost Confidence

After benching starting quarterback Matt Schaub a few weeks back (ankle injury), the Texans turned to unproven youngster Case Keenum. To his defense, Keenum has actually played rather well given the circumstances of the last month-plus. Keenum had the Texans in a close game with unbeaten Kansas City (17-16 loss) and had the team ahead of AFC South leading Indianapolis at home last week 21-3 at intermission before the team went into a spiraling downfall over the next 30 minutes of play.

While a trip to the AFC playoffs seems pretty remote at this point and time, stranger things have happened. All the Texans can do at this point is trying to go out and get that first win following the losing streak, then build on it for the next game.

If the Texans are to get a win versus Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald and Co. this Sunday, they will have to do it with or without some banged up bodies.

As of Thursday’s injury report, running back Ben Tate (ribs) saw limited practice time, while starter Arian Foster (back) was held out of practice. Both are key cogs in Houston’s offense, especially with a young Keenum under center.

On the defensive side of the ball, linebackers Tavares Gooden (did not practice), Darryl Sharpton (limited practice) and Mike Mohamed (did not practice) are all question marks.

For the Texans, leaving the desert Sunday night with a win is first and foremost their top priority.

Injury Report as of Thursday

  • Linebacker Tavares Gooden – did not practice;
  • Tight end Garret Graham – full practice;
  • Linebacker Darryl Sharpton – limited practice;
  • Tackle Andrew Gardner – full practice;
  • Guard Wade Smith – limited practice;
  • Running back Arian Foster – did not practice;
  • Defensive tackle Earl Mitchell – full practice;
  • Guard Brandon Brooks – full practice;
  • Linebacker Mike Mohamed – did not practice;
  • Cornerback Brice McCain – full practice;
  • Wide receiver Keshawn Martin – full practice;
  • Safety Shiloh Keo – full practice;
  • Tackle Derek Newton – full practice;
  • Running back Ben Tate – limited practice.

For more Houston Texans news and updates, visit Houston Texans Central.

Dave Thomas has been covering the sports world since his first job as a sports editor for a weekly newspaper in Pennsylvania back in 1989. He has covered a Super Bowl, college bowl games, MLB, NBA and more. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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