Brown kicks 4 field goals as Texans beat Broncos
HOUSTON (AP)—David Anderson is far down Houston’s depth chart at receiver, but he made the most of his opportunity in the Texans’ preseason opener on Saturday night.
Kris Brown kicked four field goals, including the 25-yard winner on the game’s final play. Rosenfels completed 10 of 15 passes for 137 yards in relief of starting quarterback Matt Schaub, who played only one series.
Denver’s Jay Cutler went 8-for-10 for 59 yards and ran for a touchdown in his one quarter of work.
The Texans have good depth at receiver, and the 5-foot-10, 196-pound Anderson is fighting for a roster spot. He had only 12 receptions in 2007, his second season, and was inactive for the final five games.
On the Texans’ second series Saturday, Anderson caught an 11-yard pass to set up Brown’s 52-yard field goal, then scored the Texans’ only touchdown in the corner of the end zone with 9:40 left in the first half.
“I really like David,” said Houston star receiver Andre Johnson, who sat out with a sore groin. “He’s a real scrappy guy. You look at him, he’s a smaller guy, but he goes out and plays with a big heart.”
Houston coach Gary Kubiak said Anderson has looked impressive in training camp, too.
“It doesn’t surprise you when he comes out there and starts to do that,” Kubiak said. “He’s tough and he understands the game, the quarterbacks trust him. If he continues at the pace he’s going, he’s going to play a lot for this team.”
Both teams lost players to injuries on the Texans’ first offensive series.
Running back Ahman Green, who missed all or part of 10 games last year with a bone bruise in his knee, was hurt on Houston’s first play. Green caught a 5-yard pass from Schaub and fell down before he was even hit, then limped off the field. The Texans said he has a strained groin.
“I didn’t really know what happened to him,” said Schaub, who completed 4-of-5 passes in his only series. “He just felt a little tweak, I guess, but I don’t know.”
Texans athletic trainer Kevin Bastin told Kubiak that the injury wasn’t serious.
On the play after Green was injured, Denver linebacker Boss Bailey sprained his right ankle and had to be helped off the field. Bailey started 12 games for the Broncos last season and made 51 tackles, including 3 1-2 sacks.
Denver coach Mike Shanahan feared that Bailey could miss “a couple weeks.” Bailey will undergo tests on Sunday, Shanahan said.
Louis Green, Bailey’s replacement, left on a stretcher a few plays later with a neck injury and a concussion. Green collided with teammate D.J. Williams as the two converged to tackle Texans tight end Owen Daniels, who caught a short pass.
Green lay motionless for several minutes as medical staff rushed to check on him. Green was strapped to the stretcher and was moving his fingers and hands as he was rolled off the field.
The Texans said Green was taken to a hospital for further evaluation. The Broncos said after the game that Green was released from the hospital and rejoined the team for their flight back to Denver.
“He feels good right now, but we won’t know for sure for a couple of hours,” said Denver coach Mike Shanahan. “We feel pretty good about where he’s at, hopefully with no setback.”
After Brown finished the drive with a 23-yard field goal, Cutler went 7-for-9 and scrambled for a 15-yard touchdown run against Houston’s first-team defense.
Brown kicked a 52-yard field goal with 11:59 left in the half.
Patrick Ramsey replaced Cutler early in the second quarter and Houston backup safety Nick Ferguson intercepted Ramsey’s first pass and returned it to the Denver 26. One play later, Rosenfels threw the touchdown pass to Anderson.
Ramsey drove the Broncos into field goal range later in the second quarter, but Matt Prater missed from 30 yards. Prater is taking over for Jason Elam, who left Denver after 15 seasons and now plays for Atlanta.
Rosenfels threw a 41-yard pass to Jacoby Jones early in the third quarter to set up another field goal by Brown, a 23-yarder. Jones fumbled a punt at the Houston 25 later in the quarter, leading to a 38-yard field goal by Prater.
Prater added two more field goals in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 16.
Rookie Steve Slaton had a 39-yard kickoff return at the start of Houston’s final possession, with about five minutes left. He had a 13-yard run later in the drive.
Johnson strained his groin at practice on Aug. 2. He said he could’ve played if it had been a regular season game. … CB Champ Bailey and DT Dewayne Robertson were among the inactive players for Denver. … Texans RB Chris Brown dressed but did not play. Brown has been hampered by a sore back during training camp.