- Associated Press - Monday, September 28, 2015

HOUSTON (AP) - A win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers isn’t the only thing Texans coach Bill O’Brien is upbeat about.

The team is close to being at full strength ahead of Week 4’s matchup with the Falcons.

Running back Arian Foster, tackle Duane Brown and guard Brandon Brooks are hopeful to play Sunday.

O’Brien said of Foster playing at Atlanta: “I think we’re close. I don’t know that answer today.”

“I think Brooks will be fine,” he added. “I think Duane is in a similar conversation to Arian, is very close to being back to being able to play.”

The Texans have had to split Foster’s carries up by committee with the star tailback out. Alfred Blue had a breakout game against Tampa Bay on Sunday with 31 carries for 139 yards and a touchdown. Blue only had 14 carries for 48 yards through the first two weeks of the season.

Brown (thumb) hasn’t practiced until now.

“I’ll practice this week and I’ll have a good gauge for what I feel like for Sunday,” he said.

Brooks (ankle) is “very hopeful” he plays at Atlanta, too. He left Sunday’s game with the injury.

The Texans’ offensive line has had to reshuffle a lot so far in 2015. Brooks sees positives from the unit weathering the injury bug.

“It’s extremely positive, kind of a next-man-up mentality,” he said. “Derek Newton went in there and did a hell of a job, as he always does. That’s why he got the big deal in the offseason. It’s great to see him go in there and do positive things.”


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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