Houston Texans: Veteran receiver Demaryius Thomas has been slow to grasp the game plan and was targeted just once without a catch in last Sunday’s win over the Washington Redskins. Thomas has three receptions in two games since being acquired from the Denver Broncos. “He’s very close,” quarterback Deshaun Watson told reporters of Thomas catching on. “There are still some things that he’s going to continue to have trouble with remembering because we do a lot of different things. We put a lot on the plate of the receivers switching them around, but at the same time, he’s a guy that came in and put his head down and went straight to work.” Coach Bill O’Brien took part of the blame. “I have to do a better job of getting him more involved,” O’Brien said. “He’s working hard, he’s a good pro and we need to do a better job of getting him the ball a little more.”
Indianapolis Colts: Standout center Ryan Kelly (knee) was ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins. Kelly is waiting for a second opinion to come back from a doctor, and the club is hoping to have more of an idea per the length of his absence once it sees the results. Colts coach Frank Reich has declined to discuss how long Kelly will be sidelined other than saying he will “miss a little time.” Kelly aggravated the knee in the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans. Evan Boehm will start at center against the Dolphins. Boehm has played in five games this season, playing 29 offensive snaps, since being signed off the Los Angeles Rams’ practice squad on Oct. 9.
Jacksonville Jaguars: The six-game losing streak has derailed Jacksonville’s season, and coach Doug Marrone admits he hasn’t been thinking too much about the postseason race despite his club just being two games off the wild-card pace. “When you have lost this many games in a row, we are just focused on trying to win one game: this game right now,” Marrone told reporters of Sunday’s clash against the Buffalo Bills. “You can’t focus on anything else. We have to do whatever we have to do to go win a game. That is what it comes down to.” The hard part for the Jaguars (3-7) is that there are five teams tied at 5-5 and two other squads ahead of them that they would have to surpass in the standings. “I haven’t looked at that,” Marrone said. “My focus of motivation is just being a competitor and trying to win — not the motivation of, ‘There is still this, there is still that.’”
Tennessee Titans: Quarterback Marcus Mariota (stinger) did limited work in Wednesday’s practice and figures there is enough time to recover with the team’s game against the Texans falling on Monday night. “We have an extra day to get healthy,” Mariota told reporters, “and we’ll definitely take advantage of that.” As for the practice work, Mariota was encouraged by how he felt three days after being injured against the Colts. “I am feeling good,” Mariota said. “I was able to go through individual (drills), and I am taking it one day at a time, but it felt pretty good.” Mariota said the stinger gave him numbness in his passing arm. Earlier this season, Mariota dealt with numbness issues in his fingers and had trouble gripping the football after suffering an elbow injury against the Miami Dolphins in Week 1. He wore a two-fingered glove through Week 7 in order to compensate.
—Field Level Media