O’Brien: Duane Brown Making Progress Towards Return

By Paul Gallant, SportsRadio 610

HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON)He returned to the practice field last week. But there’s still no word on whether Texans tackle Duane Brown will return to the field Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

“I think he’s making progress towards being able to play on Sunday,” said Texans head coach Bill O’Brien.” I think that he feels better and better about where his leg is at right now . . . It will be good if we can get him back in there. Not sure if that’s going to be the case against Minnesota, but I think it’s trending that way.”

Brown hasn’t played a snap for the Texans since tearing his right quadriceps tendon January 3rd during a 30 – 6 win over the Jaguars. But he’s still making his presence known in the locker room.

“From a leadership standpoint, he’s definitely one of the leaders of our team,” continued O’Brien. “He’s been in every meeting. He mentors the young guys. He’s helped a lot with Xavier (Su’a-Filo), with Greg Mancz, the new guys, Jeff Allen. Duane is definitely one of the leaders of our team.”

One of the biggest obstacles in the way of Brown’s return could be his conditioning. After all, being “in shape” is a lot different than being in “football shape”, as cliché as that may sound.

“Playing football is a whole lot different than running sprints or doing rehab drills to get back in there,” said O’Brien. “We’ll have to see where that’s at and I know that Duane has worked very, very hard.”

While Duane Brown gets closer and closer to a return, it’ll be interesting to see what happens to Texans tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz Sunday. The third year tight end had a very productive game – 4 catches for 48 yards and a touchdown – before injuring his knee on Nick Novak’s missed 48 yard field goal.

“I saw it,” said O’Brien. “It looked bad. But he came back. I give him a lot of credit. We’ll have to really monitor him this week, but obviously he’s a tough guy and I’m sure he’ll be really working hard to get back out there and play.”

O’Brien was a little more vague when I asked him about Kareem Jackson. The Texans cornerback hurt his right hamstring Sunday.

“I think he’s probably day-to-day. I’m not sure what he’ll be early in the week, but I think we’ll try to ramp him up to be ready to play on Sunday.”

Paul Gallant hosts “Gallant at Night” – Tuesdays 9-11 PM, Wednesdays 8-11 PM, and Fridays 8-11 PM on SportsRadio 610. He also hosts SportsZone Unfiltered – Fridays at 10 PM – on The Kube: Channel 57. Get in touch with Paul via email or his facebook page.

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