Davone Bess (illness) is not practicing Thursday.
Ryan Griffin is expected to draw another start in Sunday's game against the Broncos.
Garrett Graham's hamstring isn't improving and there's nothing new on Owen Daniels (leg, short-term IR). Griffin played on every single snap in Week 15, catching six passes for 62 yards on six targets. He projects to be used similarly this week, the Texans are a good bet to be in comeback mode for virtually the entire game and Matt Schaub has a history of targeting tight ends in the red zone. Desperate Jordan Cameron owners can find some upside in Griffin.
The Houston Chronicle believes impending free agent Ben Tate has played his last snap with the Texans.
Tate was placed on injured reserve Wednesday, leaving Dennis Johnson to start the final two games. It's his audition for the 2014 backup role. The Texans gave Arian Foster a five-year, $43.5 million contract before the 2012 season, making it highly unlikely they give Tate a competitive offer.
According to interim coach Wade Phillips, Garrett Graham (hamstring) is "about the same as last week."
That doesn't bode well for Graham's Week 16 status. He didn't practice at all on Wednesday, instead rehabbing along with Owen Daniels (short-term IR, leg). Ryan Griffin is shaping up as a sneaky plug-n-play at tight end for the second straight week. He played on 67-of-67 snaps in Week 15, posted a 6/62/0 line and this week's starter Matt Schaub loves to throw to tight ends -- especially in the red zone.
Coach Doug Marrone said he's "110 percent confident" E.J. Manuel (knee) will start in Week 17.
Manuel won't play in Sunday's game against the Dolphins due to a lack of mobility. The rookie is dealing with his third knee injury of the season, but the Bills aren't shutting him down. "Every snap, every time we can get him in there, that type of experience, the better and better he gets," said Marrone.
MMQB's Andy Benoit calls Andre Ellington a future "SUPERstar."
It's not a far-fetched proclamation. As a sixth-round rookie, Ellington leads the NFL in yards per carry (5.93) and is showing elite route-running ability when split wide. If coach Bruce Arians takes the chains off and gets Ellington 15-18 touches per game, he's going to become a household name. At 5'9/199, he has similar size to Chris Johnson. Ellington just has prove to Arians he's durable enough to be a true feature back.
Falcons FS Thomas DeCoud (concussion) practiced Wednesday.
DeCoud is on track to play in Monday night's game at San Francisco. His return will at least give the Falcons secondary a veteran presence as they started three rookies in Week 15.
According to FOX Sports, free agent CB Antoine Winfield has decided to stay retired.
There's been plenty of speculation that Winfield would come out of retirement to help the Seahawks through the suspensions in their secondary, but it's not happening. After sitting out all season, it's unlikely the 36-year-old would be able to give Seattle an upgrade anyway. Their defense remains dominant even without Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond III.