HOUSTON -- Thursday night the Texans take on the Dallas Cowboys in their final preseason game.
In keeping with tradition, this game will feature mostly players low on the depth chart. Starters will get the night off.
One guy who knows just how important this game can be is outside linebacker Sam Montgomery.
"It's probably the biggest game of my life so far," Montgomery told me after Sunday's game against the Saints.
The former LSU defensive end shouldn't be in this position, given that he's one of the team's third-round draft picks. But he came into camp out of shape, had to work past that, and then had to work past injuries which set him behind his teammates including some talented undrafted rookies. The Texans have made his position clear, waiting until late to give Montgomery snaps.
"It doesn't mess with me," Montgomery said. "It's just a great opportunity for someone else. ... I know what I can do for this team, and I know whenever it's the last time I step on the field, whether it's show team or anything, I give good looks to the offense."
Montgomery will be one player to watch for the Texans on Thursday. Four more follow. I've excluded undrafted rookies for this post. Gary Kubiak has been so glowingly positive about this class of rookie free agents that they deserve their own post.
WR DeVier Posey: A rare guy playing in the fourth game who isn't fighting for his roster spot. This will be Posey's first chance at game action since he suffered a torn Achilles tendon in January. He's confident, but getting some actual football snaps is necessary to for both him and the team to make sure he's ready.
OLB Trevardo Williams: Williams has also slid despite being a fourth-round draft pick. He'll get more time this weekend to try and improve his status.
QB Case Keenum: He'll be the starter in Dallas with T.J. Yates coming in second. Kubiak insists he's withholding his decision until the end of the preseason. Right now Kubiak's biggest decision will be whether or not to keep three quarterbacks on his roster. Keenum's play could force that.
RB Deji Karim: This is Karim's third stop in the AFC South and he's vying for a role that saw plenty of action last season for the Texans -- the third running back. Karim's competition for the job includes former Notre Dame running back Cierre Wood and former Arkansas running back Dennis Johnson.