Bum ankle shouldn't sideline Schaub

HOUSTON -- Houston quarterback Matt Schaub is not expected to play in Friday's preseason finale against Tampa Bay because of a sprained ankle, but he should be ready for the regular-season opener.

Schaub sprained his ankle in the second quarter of Houston's loss to Minnesota on Monday night. He returned after the injury, but was limping and was replaced by Dan Orlovsky to start the third quarter.

Coach Gary Kubiak said Tuesday he is not concerned about the possibility that Schaub will miss Houston's opener against the Jets on Sept. 13.

"He's very upbeat about it," Kubiak said. "He called me on the way home last night as I was driving home and told me that he'll be fine and ready to go."

The Texans are hoping to keep Schaub on the field more this season. He's missed five games in each of his first two seasons in Houston with injuries. They will probably use Friday's game as a chance to see more from Orlovsky, who played for Detroit last season. He's been somewhat inconsistent this preseason, but Kubiak said he is improving.

He moved Houston's offense well on his first series before throwing an interception in the red zone Monday night.

"He's making progress, but he continues to make some of the mistakes that can get you hurt," Kubiak said. "I am impressed with him coming on the field last night to start the second half and taking us right down the field and making a couple of really nice plays. Then you're disappointed on that play he tries to make on the 13-yard line. You just can't do that."

Kubiak said playing with Houston's first team for a quarter on Monday should be beneficial for Orlovsky's comfort level if Schaub can't play. Kubiak and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will continue to work with him to cut down on his mistakes.

While Schaub will probably sit out, the Texans expect quarterback Rex Grossman to return on Friday after missing more than two weeks with a hamstring injury. They want to see more from him after his only work this preseason was one pass attempt in Houston's preseason opener.

Several other players were also injured against the Vikings, but none of those injuries appear to be serious. Receiver Kevin Walter has a hamstring injury and fullback Vonta Leach and safety Eugene Wilson, who was injured on the illegal crackback block by Brett Favre, both have injured knees. All are listed as day-to-day.

Houston released cornerbacks Cletis Gordon and David Pittman, receiver Mike Jones and tackle Jason Watkins on Tuesday to get down to the 75-player limit.