HOUSTON – Texans veteran wide receiver Brandin Cooks returned to practice Thursday morning after missing the past two games with a strained calf muscle.
Cooks looked fluid in individual drills and could be back for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
“He looked fast,” Texans offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton said after practice when asked how Cooks performed in practice.
Cooks has run the 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds and is a former track star in high school growing up in Stockton, Calif., and at Oregon State.
Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks returns from calf injury pic.twitter.com/JMGrBNgbBA— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) December 15, 2022
Cooks leads the Texans with 44 receptions for 520 yards and one touchdown this season.
Cooks became emotional at the NFL trade deadline due to his displeasure when it expired with no trade after the Texans held discussions with multiple teams with no deal reached primarily due to their asking price -- a second-round draft pick and a fourth-round selection, per league sources -- and his $18 million fully guaranteed 2023 salary.
Cooks rejoined the Texans after missing a game against the Philadelphia Eagles for personal reasons. He was replaced as an offensive team captain by left tackle Laremy Tunsil.
Cooks started the next three games after missing the Philadelphia game, catching five passes for 59 yards against the Miami Dolphins, three passes for 70 yards against the Washington Commanders and four passes for 37 yards against the New York Giants.
Texans wide receiver Nico Collins remains sidelined with a foot injury.
Texans wide receiver Nico Collins remains sidelined with foot injury @KPRC2 pic.twitter.com/GFo6GDmpPI— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) December 15, 2022
With Cooks and Collins out of the lineup last Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, wide receiver Chris Moore caught a career-high 10 passes for 124 yards on 11 targets and Amari Rodgers caught his first NFL touchdown.
Tunsil returned to practice from an illness that kept him out Wednesday.
Players not practicing besides Collins include cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. (hamstring), offensive guard Justin McCray (hamstring), cornerback Steven Nelson (foot) and running back Dameon Pierce (high ankle sprain).
Defensive linemen Mario Addison, Maliek Collins and Jerry Hughes returned to practice after getting their usual rest day Wednesday.
Aaron Wilson is a contributor to KPRC 2 and click2houston.com