HOUSTON – The Texans are in their bye week, and it couldn't have come at a better time. After a dominant win against Jacksonville in London, the team can go into a week of resting with confidence.
But the Texans are banged up, with plenty of injuries on their roster. The bye week is a great time to rehab and rest, and head coach Bill O'Brien said the injured players will still receive treatment. Johnathan Joseph, Lonnie Johnson, Bradley Roby, and more are among the players looking to recover from various injuries. Safety Justin Reid noted that although the guys have stepped up with a "next-man-up mentality," it's obviously better to have your starters at their best.
"You always want to have your best guys out on the field at all times," Reid said. "To have all those guys back is going to help us out."
Every NFL team, of course, gets a bye week. But the Texans' comes at the perfect time. While some teams have their bye weeks towards the beginning or end of the season, the Texans' is smack dab in the middle.
"I think any time the bye week comes halfway through the season, it's a good thing," O'Brien said. "I think when you go into the bye with a win, that's a good thing (too.) It allows guys to kind of heal up and get ready to go for a stretch run that's a very important stretch run. So I think it's good timing."
And that stretch run will be no joke; when they come back, they take on Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. Jackson has impressed all season, and the Texans defense will need to be ready. After that comes a division rivalry game against the Colts, and following that is an appearance by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. The good thing? The latter two matchups will happen at NRG.
But the bye week is essential for the mental health of the players, as well.
"They can relax, and put football on the back-burner" said defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel.
"It's a long season," Reid said. "So, really just take a moment to step away. So that way, when we come back and get ready to train again on Monday, everybody is laser-focused and locked in for the second haul of the season."
"You have to get away," running back Duke Johnson said. "Normally, I'm here at work during all the holidays and all the birthdays. That's my biggest thing, and that's why I spend so much time with my family. You have to get away from football and get away from everything."