Texans Camp Confidential 8/3: Cushing, Wilfork Among Veterans Absent From Indoor Practice

HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) — Editor’s Note: Camp Confidential will feature daily news and notes throughout Texans training camp. See All Other Camp Confidentials

Here are the notes, quotes, and need-to-know information from Texans training camp on Wednesday, Aug. 3.

>> After a brutally hot day three of Training Camp, the Texans went “inside the bubble” for Wednesday morning’s practice session. The cooler temperatures indoors and an artificial environment seemed to smooth out mistakes. QB Brock Osweiler praised the team’s focus, but the raw emotions of Tuesday’s goal-line work were missing.

>> Of course, that step down in intensity could have something to do with Brian Cushing’s absence. Cushing was one of a handful of Texans veterans who had the day off. Vince Wilfork, Jonathan Joseph and Ryan Griffin also didn’t dress out. It is unclear if Griffin’s absence was due to his offseason achilles injury.

>> There is a heated competition for the starting punt returner spot, and the Texans ran through early work there on special teams. Will Fuller, Braxton Miller, Tyler Ervin, Cecil Shorts III and Wendell Williams all caught punts, and Fuller was the only player to muff one.

>> Speaking of special teams: It may not be the domain of rookie and backups for the Texans in 2016. Prominent starters like Jadeveon Clowney have been staples on coverage units during camp, and Bill O’Brien said that could be the norm this season.

READ MORE: O’Brien Won’t Hesitate To Put Stars On Special Teams

>> PLAY OF THE DAY: Fuller redeemed himself a bit after the muffed punt. Later in practice, he skied across the middle for a great leaping catch on a high Osweiler throw. The first-round pick has had a quiet camp to date, but the catch was a glimpse into the playmaking ability he displayed at Notre Dame.

>> C.J. Fiedorowicz briefly exited practice, and he was pointing to his neck and head as the trainers assessed him. It didn’t stop O’Brien from singling out Fiedorowicz for his versatility among the tight ends.

>> Rookie center Nick Martin has earned high praise as the anchor of a reshuffled offensive line. Bill O’Brien and Osweiler both went out of their way to compliment Martin’s first week of camp after Wednesday’s session.

READ MORE: O’Brien: Martin “One Of The Better Rookies” I’ve Coached

>> Depth at wide receiver is a noticeable strength for the Texans so far, and that trend continued on Wednesday. Even the undrafted rookies look capable of challenging for a roster spot. Unheralded Iowa State product Quenton Brundage hauled in a couple passes in full-squad work, and then caught a 60-plus yard touchdown pass from Osweiler in seven-on-seven work.

>> A.J. Bouye battled DeAndre Hopkins in red-zone passing drills, denying the Pro Bowl receiver twice with some nice deflections. The quarterbacks had difficulty completing passes against the defensive backs in seven-on-seven drills for a second consecutive day.

Follow Chris Abshire on Twitter: @ChrisAbshire

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