About the Texans
Houston is holding open competition for its No. 2 quarterback job, with T.J. Yates and Case Keenum vying to be Matt Schaub’s backup. Keenum, the NCAA’s all-time leader in passing yardage, went undrafted in 2012. As a rookie in 2011, Yates started seven games, including a 31-10 playoff victory over the Bengals. … At full strength, the Texans defense has star power on all three levels with defensive tackle J.J. Watt (the reigning AP Defensive Player of the Year), linebacker Matt Cushing (the 2009 Defensive Rookie of the Year) and safety Ed Reed (a nine-time Pro Bowler). But all three of those players are dealing with injuries and won’t play. … Rookie DeAndre Hopkins was the second receiver to come off the board in April’s draft, two picks before the Vikings selected Cordarrelle Patterson. Hopkins has been filling up the highlight reel during Texans training camp. … With Arian Foster (calf, back) on the Physically Unable to Perform list and Ben Tate (groin) also limited, rookie Cierre Wood, a shifty back out of Notre Dame, should get an extended look. … Randy Bullock was one of two kickers drafted ahead of Vikings All-Pro Blair Walsh in 2012. Bullock tore a groin in the preseason last year and hasn’t seen game action since. He is expected to kick tonight.
About the Vikings
In last year’s preseason finale against Houston, receiver Jarius Wright delivered an explosive six-catch, 122-yard outing. Included was a 59-yard touchdown grab from McLeod Bethel-Thompson. Wright continues to draw raves from training camp for his quick development and overall versatility. … Rookie Cordarrelle Patterson should get an extended look at both receiver and as a kickoff returner. Still in the early development stages as a route runner, Patterson is special with the ball in his hands. … Perhaps no player has had a better start to training camp than defensive lineman Everson Griffen. In a contract year and coming off a breakthrough eight-sack season in 2012, Griffen’s quickness and power remain eye-catching. … Reigning MVP Adrian Peterson won’t play and Toby Gerhart may not get more than a series or two in the backfield. So here’s a chance to see undrafted rookies Bradley Randle and Jerodis Williams tote the ball. … With Harrison Smith and Jamarca Sanford locked in as safeties, the battle for position behind them features Mistral Raymond, Robert Blanton and Andrew Sendejo all vying for more playing time.