Texans coach DeMeco Ryans explains decision to cancel joint practices with Saints

The New Orleans Saints enjoyed a productive week of joint practices with the Los Angeles Chargers, and they were poised to experience the same work with the Houston Texans ahead of their final preseason game at the Caesars Superdome — until both teams agreed to cancel. So what’s the deal?

Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans cited a number of injuries suffered in recent joint practices with the Miami Dolphins and Houston’s two preseason games as cause for concern heading into the final week in New Orleans, thanking his counterpart Dennis Allen for his understanding in a difficult situation.

“With canceling the joint practices with the Saints, it is where we are as a team, a little banged up, so I thought it was in the best interest of our team and putting our guys first,” Ryans shared. “I am thankful to Dennis and the Saints for the opportunity to have joint practices and with them working with us and being understandable. One thing we always talk about is a team-first mentality, and that went into the decision. Just looking at our team and where we are now, it would not have been as productive as we would have liked it to be if we went to New Orleans.”

Still, Ryans is looking at the bright side — his coaching staff will have the opportunity to treat the final week of preseason as a dress rehearsal for their season-opener: “The flip side of it is that we get the opportunity to treat this week as a normal in-season game week for us. There is benefits to that for our whole entire team and coaching staff to be able to go through the process of a normal in-season week.”

That’s true for the Saints, too, though it remains to be seen how many snaps the starting lineup will be expected to play. There are still some tough decisions to make ahead of roster cuts next Tuesday and this preseason game with the Texans will be their last opportunity to self-evaluate. Hopefully everyone competing for spots on the 53-man roster and practice squad can make the most of it.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire