Texans to be cautious with Ed Reed

HOUSTON -- Once he's ready to play, the Texans plan to take it slow with safety Ed Reed.

Reed, a nine-time Pro Bowler and former defensive player of the year, won't start immediately when he's healthy, Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Thursday. Instead, he will begin as a situational player and be eased into certain packages.

"He's right there going into his first preseason game this week, so to speak, in a lot of ways," Kubiak said. "I think the question right now is, when is he ready for those first 25-30 plays? That's what we're trying to make a decision on, but he's making good progress."

Reed, who received a walker as a gag gift for this 35th birthday Wednesday, is recovering from arthroscopic hip surgery he had in April to repair a torn labrum. He signed with the Texans in March but began practicing with the team only last week.

The Texans, who play their home opener Sunday against the Tennessee Titans, will start safety Shiloh Keo again this week. How Reed does during practices will determine whether or not he will be active for the game.

Reed was listed as questionable on last week's final injury report, but the Texans decided he wouldn't play before Monday. He traveled to San Diego but was inactive for Houston's 31-28 victory.

"Probably took a little more than he did on this day last week," Kubiak said. "Continued improvement right there, and we're probably working toward game day again. That's what I would say, but he actually practiced a little bit more than he did last week with the pads on."