Little by little, the Houston Texans are getting healthier at key spots.
Safety Ed Reed will have a major say in whether or not he plays in the Sept. 9 season opener in San Diego. He won't begin the season on the PUP list, where he spent all of the preseason and training camp.
Left guard Wade Smith told me Thursday he has a "really good chance" of playing in the opener. And tight end Garrett Graham told me Thursday that if the game versus the Cowboys had been a regular-season game, his hip injury wouldn't have kept him out.
Texans coach Gary Kubiak says running back Arian Foster will benefit from the extra day that comes with a Monday night opener. And while Kubiak expects Foster to carry a lighter load to start, that's a reaction to his skipping most of the preseason.
Receiver DeVier Posey will get a similar gradual introduction, having played in only one preseason game after a speedy recovery from a torn Achilles.
When other teams suffered through a rash of season-ending injuries, some as part of the torn ACL epidemic that struck weeks ago, Kubiak noted his own frustrations with the plethora of more minor injuries winding through his team. He also noted his relief that these were injuries that wouldn't linger too long.
Some of that is coming together for the Texans now. They of course have players with frustrating recurrences (such as rookie tackle Brennan Williams, whose knee swelling has returned). And they're still waiting on rookie receiver DeAndre Hopkins' concussion symptoms to fully subside.
But overall the health arrow is pointing up, and that's a good place to be as the regular season nears.