Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 8/4/12

Amazing it’s already been a full week since the Houston Texans reported for training camp. The Texans wrapped up their seventh day of practices this morning with no evening session for the first time this preseason. The story thus far this preseason has of course been the injuries to several key starters, unfortunately overshadowing the solid progress the team made in its first week. 

To quickly give an update on the injury front, the Texans are being generally cautious with their walking wounded, especially WR Andre Johnson (groin), LT Duane Brown (ankle), and CB Kareem Jackson (hamstring). According to head coach Gary Kubiak, all three probably could have practiced by the end of this week, but the coaches and training staff have opted to hold them out until next week. Regarding DE J.J. Watt (dislocated elbow), there is little question whether he will be back for week one of the regular season, the real intrigue is whether Watt can return for the end of training camp. 

Now onto who has impressed during the first seven days of camp. While numerous veterans have played well and looked good (QB Schaub, ILB Cushing, CB Joseph, RBs, left O-line, etc.), the real standouts tend to come from guys from whom not as much is expected. The rookie class has already produced a few eye-catches, most notably first-round draft pick OLB Whitney Mercilus. After practice this morning, Kubiak was asked about Mercilus’ progress, to which Kubiak responded, “Well, he’s just consistent. I mean, he’s a pro—a very, very sharp young man for an early out guy. He’s got his stuff together, he knows what’s going on. Not only quick but very physical, too.”

Aside from Mercilus, a number of the other drafted rookies have displayed tremendous productivity and upside, namely RG Brandon Brooks and WRs DeVier Posey and Keshawn Martin. Also looking sharp is undrafted rookie RB Jonathan Grimes who has demonstrated excellent ball carrier vision and the ability to make one cut and get north and south. 

With week one now in the books, the Texans will likely shift their focus to preparing for their first preseason contest with the Carolina Panthers set for a week from tomorrow. Look for the coaching staff to further prep the team for real game situations while simultaneously begin the process of deciding how to narrow the roster to 53 players. All and all, it was a solid first week of practice as the Texans set out to live up to their lofty 2012 expectations.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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