Texans Camp Confidential 8/4: Texans Offense Beats The Heat, Defense With Big Plays

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 Thursdat, Aug. 4.

>> INJURY UPDATE: A pair of defensive linemen in Christian Covington and Ra’Zahn Howard left practice with undisclosed injuries. Covington walked off under his own power, but Howard was carted off the practice field. Wide receiver Josh Lenz’s recent injury is said to be minor, as he’ll likely miss only a couple of days.

>> The NFL’s new kickoff rules for 2016 were a hot topic of conversation on Thursday. The team ran through kickoff coverage work during early special teams drills. Bill O’Brien said the Texans could get “creative” with their kicking game to avoid giving teams the ball at the 25-yard-line.

READ MORE: NFL May Have Missed The Mark With New Touchback Rule

>> PLAYS OF THE DAY: A couple of long touchdown throws highlighted Day 5 action, a welcome sight for a previously sloppy offense. Jaelen Strong dove for a spectacular touchdown catch down the sideline against tight coverage on a perfect throw by Brock Osweiler. Moments later, Osweiler found speedy first-round Will Fuller on a deep post-route for an 80-yard score.

>> O’Brien said there was “no two ways around it.” Putting it mildly, it was again quite warm as the team returned outdoors for practice. They made it worth the fans’ while, though, as a sellout crowd of more than 4,000 braved the triple-digit heat index. O’Brien was unusually fan-friendly post practice, signing autographs along with stars like DeAndre Hopkins.

>> It wasn’t a completely clean day for Osweiler, who is still working on a rapport with his new receiving corps. Eddie Pleasant picked Osweiler off with a diving snag on an out route gone awry due to some miscommunication.

>> Speaking of those wideouts, Thursday provided encouraging signs. Strong clearly seems capable as a No. 2 option to Hopkins. After a slow start to camp, Fuller made an explosive play for a second consecutive day with his long TD catch-and-run. Keith Mumphery was arguably the best option during bubble-screen work, while rookie Braxton Miller said Hopkins and fellow veteran Cecil Shorts are slowly but surely bringing everybody up to speed.

READ MORE: Cecil Shorts Stepping Up As Leader Of Young Texans Receivers

>> The Texans offense infamously scored just once in 10 tries from the one-yard-line during Tuesday’s goal-line drills, so they tried again on Thursday. The success rate improved, with the offense punching it into the endzone twice in five plays. Xavier Su’a-Filo paved the way for Alfred Blue to break the ice with the first touchdown run.

> Andre Hal has arguably been the standout performer for a deep Houston secondary so far in camp. He made a pair of pass deflections during seven-on-seven work and then aided in stuffing the Texans run game during full-squad scrimmaging. The third-year safety has become a veteran presence after a breakout 2015 campaign.

READ MORE: Andre Hal Communicating, Getting Physical At Texans Camp

Follow Chris Abshire on Twitter: @ChrisAbshire

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