Camp Confidential 8/18: Texans Finish Strong Vs. Saints In Joint 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 Thursday, Aug. 18.

>> The Texans and Saints held a spirited joint practice in advance of Saturday’s preseason matchup. The teams ran through position drills and scrimmaging for nearly two hours, with New Orleans looking sharp early and Houston dominating the later action. The teams barely beat a strong thunderstorm and downpour that hit the NRG area minutes after the outdoor practice concluded.

>> INJURY UPDATE: With live action, it was no surprise the injuries increased during Thursday’s session. Defensive lineman Christian Covington departed with a shoulder issue, and offensive lineman Greg Mancz missed a few snaps with a cut on his face. Jadeveon Clowney briefly exited action with some soreness but he returned at full strength.

>> The main injury, though, came courtesy of rookie center Nick Martin. The already oft-injured lineman limped off the field with lower leg pain and was subsequently carted off midway through practice. Head coach Bill O’Brien did not think it will be a serious issue.

READ MORE: [WATCH] Nick Martin Limps Off The Field During Thursday’s Joint Practice

>> Texans cornerback and ‘Hard Knocks’ fan favorite Charles James continues to impress this Training Camp. He picked off Saints quarterback Drew Brees with a diving interception that earned an ovation from the Texans’ home crowd. However, rookie Michael Thomas bested James in individual work with a spectacular grab.

>> TEXANS PLAY OF THE DAY: SportsRadio 610’s own Dante Hall was impressed by rookie tight end Stephen Anderson’s route-running and it paid dividends against an opposing defense. Anderson made a back-shoulder catch down the middle on a great throw from backup quarterback Tom Savage in the two-minute drill. He still earned O’Brien’s ire, since Anderson celebrated vigorously and the Texans did not beat the clock for another snap.

>> The Saints flashed some young receiving talent throughout the morning, but all eyes still turned to DeAndre Hopkins. The reigning Pro Bowl Texans wideout made several nifty snags and even earned praise from the New Orleans receivers as a mentor and “legend.”

READ MORE: Hopkins Is A Big Deal To Saints Players

>> Speaking of Savage, O’Brien emphatically said Savage will be the backup to Brock Osweiler, barring injury. Though O’Brien did go out of his way to note that both “spin the ball nicely.”

>> Osweiler got off to a slow start, missing on some early routes as the Saints defensive lineman put him under fire. He steadied as practice moved along, completing a bunch of short routes and impressing Saints defenders.

READ MORE: Osweiler Impressive In Practice With Saints

>> Though Clowney missed a few reps, he was a force when he was out there. He made some impressive plays, including a sure sack only halted by the red non-contact jersey on Brees. After being MIA with a minor knee issue over the weekend, Clowney was a disruptive force against an opposing offense.

>> Eric Lee keeps trending upward during Training Camp after an impressive preseason debut. The inside linebacker was again active in the front seven against the Saints, but special teams will likely be where he’ll need to show out to make this team.

>> The kicking battle for the Texans is still an intriguing one, as neither rookie Ka’imi Fairbairn nor veteran Nick Novak can separate himself. Both were off during a string of 50+ yard field goals, as Fairbairn missed wide and Novak came up short on a couple kicks apiece with very mild wind against them.

Follow Chris Abshire on Twitter: @ChrisAbshire

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