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Texans WR Shorts expected to play vs. old team

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HOUSTON — Veteran starting wide receiver Cecil Shorts is regarded as ahead of schedule after dislocating his left shoulder on the final play of a loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

Out of a sling and not requiring surgery, Shorts is considered to have a better chance to return Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, his old team, than fellow injured wide receiver Nate Washington. Washington has a hamstring injury. Shorts practiced Wednesday on a limited basis.

“I feel good, I’m coming along,” Shorts said. “I’m way ahead of schedule. We’ll see how things go. We’ve got to be smart about it.”

Shorts signed a two-year, $6 million contract with the Texans this offseason that included a $1 million signing bonus with $2.5 million guaranteed. He has 22 catches for 236 yards and one touchdown in four games played.

“Every game is important,” Shorts said. “It would be fun to play against them, but every game is important. We want to get this thing rolling and win as many games as we can.”

–Starting defensive end Jared Crick left practice early Monday with a right knee injury. He didn’t practice Wednesday. Crick had an ice pack on his right knee and was walking gingerly.

“I think he’ll be OK,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said.

–Outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney changed out of a walking boot and put a brace on his right foot due to a sprained ankle. O’Brien has said that he expects Clowney to play Sunday against the Jaguars and that the boot is for precautionary reasons.

–The Texans’ offensive backfield got a boost Monday when third-down running back Jonathan Grimes returned to practice from a hamstring injury that sidelined him for two games.

“I felt really well,” Grimes said. “It’s good to be back on that field.”

Grimes provides a pass-catching presence out of the backfield this season, with 11 receptions for 61 yards.

“That’ll help us,” O’Brien said of Grimes being back. “He’s a solid player, smart player. Just walked in with him from the practice field. It’ll be good to get him back. He was out there today and looked good. Just a good teammate, great guy to have on the team, can do a lot of different things on offense, special teams, so it’ll help us to get him back.”

Grimes is as surprised as anyone that the Texans have gotten off to a 1-4 start and expressed optimism that the team will eventually turn things around.

“I got no doubt about that,” Grimes said. “We got to keep in mind the talent that we’ve got. When you look at the film, there’s a lot of things that we do in terms of mistakes. This is a good team.”

–Texans left offensive guard Xavier Su’a-Filo is staying ready in case he’s called upon this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars with starting guard Oday Aboushi dealing with a turf toe injury.

Aboushi got hurt during a 27-20 loss to the Indianapolis Colts and didn’t practice Monday. Su’a-Filo played two snaps on offense after making his season debut with 20 snaps during a 48-21 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

Su’a-Filo missed the first three games of the season with a calf injury that lingered since the first week of training camp.

“It would be great to get out there,” Su’a-Filo said. “I’m really trying to take it one day at a time and compete every day, meetings and practices. I have to be a tough critic. I can’t ever be satisfied. That’s how I was raised.”

Drafted in the second round last year out of UCLA with the 33rd overall selection, Su’a-Filo has gotten off to a slow start to his NFL career. He has battled injuries and was limited to 13 games with one start as a rookie.

“You don’t anticipate injuries and you never like them,” Su’a-Filo said. “You do what you can to control them and when you get back. I’ve worked hard to get back and put it behind me.”

NOTES: S Quintin Demps (hamstring) didn’t practice and is regarded as questionable. … ILB Akeem Dent (hamstring) and RB Jonathan Grimes (hamstring) were limited in practice Wednesday. … WR Nate Washington (hamstring) is likely to miss the game Sunday. … OLB Jadeveon Clowney (sprained right ankle) didn’t practice and is regarded as questionable for Sunday. … DE Jared Crick (right knee) is expected to play Sunday despite not practicing Wednesday.


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