Bill O'Brien: Five Texans in concussion protocol unlikely to play Thursday night

HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans ended their season-opening loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars with five players in the concussion protocol: inside linebacker Brian Cushing, wide receiver Bruce Ellington and all three tight ends on the active roster, C.J. Fiedorowicz, Ryan Griffin and Stephen Anderson.

Texans coach Bill O'Brien said it would be tough for any of the five to play on Thursday night against the Cincinnati Bengals because of the short turnaround.

"I would say that most of those guys are probably going to be out for the game, relative to it being a short week," O'Brien said Monday. "I don't know yet, but relative to the game being on Thursday night, that's usually the case based on the protocol and all the tests they have to pass to be able to get back on the field."

There is a five-step process to be cleared from the concussion protocol, including a step that says a player must return to practice as a full participant. Due to the short week, the Texans only have one practice before the game.

Ellington was the Texans' No. 2 receiver on Sunday, with Will Fuller out with a broken collarbone and Jaelen Strong suspended.

Strong will be back for Week 2, but Houston will still be without Fuller. Along with DeAndre Hopkins, the Texans have Braxton Miller and Andy Jones available at wide receiver. Running back Tyler Ervin could see time at receiver as well.

If the three tight ends are not cleared to play, the Texans could promote Evan Baylis from the practice squad. The undrafted free agent had four catches for 32 yards in three preseason games.