Watt, Jackson and Hopkins miss practice

HOUSTON -- Three important players were among those who did not practice on Wednesday for the Texans: defensive end J.J. Watt, cornerback Kareem Jackson and receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

Watt has a sore back, Hopkins is sick and Jackson is still dealing with injuries to his torso that caused him to miss last week's game, Texans coach Gary Kubiak said.

Watt left the field for a few plays on Sunday against the Raiders. He didn't want to go into the locker room, but the Texans' medical staff felt like a chiropractor could help him. Watt expects to be fine for Sunday. Kubiak said he'll return to practice on Thursday.

Cornerback Elbert Mack (hamstring), safety Jawanza Starling, guard Wade Smith (knee) and inside linebacker Darryl Sharpton (toe/foot/back) also missed practice.

"I'm real pleased with [Sharpton]," Kubiak said. "We've got a group of guys that aren't practicing very much football that we're counting on playing on Sunday. And he's on the top of the list. Really, he's practices maybe a little bit on Friday and plays. Just grateful that he's holding up and he's playing well. And he goes out there with a guy last week who had been here for 10 days and he's got to tell him what to do. You think about how he's handled the situation when Joe [Mays] was out and [Jeff] Tarpinian playing with him, you have to be impressed."

One bit of good news for the Texans is that Mays appears ready to return after missing last week's game.

And more good news: Tight end Ryan Griffin returned to practice after missing last week with a concussion. He was a full participant.