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Texans TE Owen Daniels "very limited" at practice

Texans TE Owen Daniels "very limited" at practice

HOUSTON (AP) Texans coach Gary Kubiak says tight end Owen Daniels was ``very limited' in practice with a back injury on Friday and could miss Sunday's game in Chicago.

Daniels, Houston's second-leading receiver, sat out practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Kubiak says he'll be a ``game-time decision'' when the Texans (7-1) play the Bears (7-1) on Sunday night.

``He was very limited,'' Kubiak said. ``He did some of the individual stuff early in practice, took a couple of reps, still very sore. We've got a little extra time, because we play Sunday night, so we'll continue to give him every opportunity to get there. I know it's very important to him, but we've got a ways to go.''

Chicago said wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who has missed the past few games to recover from a fractured right hand, practiced Friday, but was listed as doubtful for the game.

Kubiak said nose tackle Shaun Cody (ribs) and backup running back Ben Tate (hamstring) will definitely sit out. Tate also missed last week's game against Buffalo.

Daniels leads the Texans with five TD receptions and ranks second in receptions (37) behind Andre Johnson. Daniels did not speak to reporters on Friday.

Kubiak said Garrett Graham and James Casey will pick up more snaps if Daniels can't play.

Graham, a fourth-round draft pick in 2010, has 10 catches this season scored a touchdown in last week's win over Buffalo. Casey, technically a fullback, has proven to be one of the Texans' most versatile offensive players, and he could play about 60 plays on Sunday, up from his usual 30-35. Casey has 21 catches for 211 yards and a touchdown this year.

``James is ready to do that,'' Kubiak said. ``He's taken advantage of his opportunities, he's very smart, does a lot of things for me. I'm excited about his opportunity to do more for the team, he's had a good week of practice.''

Kubiak said he would also use fullback Tyler Clutts more in the offense. The Texans acquired Clutts in a trade with Chicago just before the regular season began. Clutts has played in all eight games this season, but has yet to touch the ball.

``You're gonna see him,'' Kubiak said. ``He's going to play special teams, but something's got to give there. James has got to have a break, Garrett's got to have a break. You're talking about three players being able to handle about five spots for what we do offensively, so you're going to see Clutts be a part of this game.''

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Bradley Beal thoroughly impressed by LeBron James after being his teammate at All-Star Game

Bradley Beal thoroughly impressed by LeBron James after being his teammate at All-Star Game

As a member of the Washington Wizards, Bradley Beal has had many battles with LeBron James over the years, first with the Miami Heat and now with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Over the weekend, Beal got to experience having James as a teammate for the first time at the All-Star Game in Los Angeles.

It was an eye-opening endeavor. Beal got to see up close and personal James' abilities and his routine to maximize them. In a group of the best players on the planet, James stood out.

"It was surreal at first, just being around all the guys," Beal said. "Even just being on his team for two days, that was an unbelievable experience."

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Beal, 24, is six seasons in to his NBA career and from experience has learned how to train for the rigors of an 82-game regular season. What James does at 33 years old to stay in peak form, however, is next level.

"To see his preparation, his focus and his mentality and what he does to take care of his body before and after games," Beal said. "That's the true testament to a Hall of Famer and one of the best to ever play the game."

James actually assisted Beal's first points in the All-Star Game, a two-handed dunk in the first quarter. James attacked the rim on a fastbreak to draw attention, then found Beal with a dump-off pass for an easy bucket.

RELATED: WIZARDS HAVE BIG QUESTIONS TO ANSWER IN SECOND HALF

It was an example of James' tricks of the trade. He is not just the most athletic player on the court, he is also the smartest when it comes to the game of basketball.

"His approach and his leadership and everything, it's top notch. It's crazy because you always play against him and to play with him, you get experience the other side of it," Beal said.

Beal, however, did note that much of what he gleaned from James was by watching him. At the end of the day, they are competitors and James isn't going to give away all of his secrets.

"He's not disclosing that information," Beal joked.

The Wizards happen to play James and the Cavs in their first game back from the All-Star break on Thursday night. Once again, Beal will be on the other side. 

RELATED: 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT HAS LOADED CLASS

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Walt Williams talks Wizards, his NBA career and life after basketball

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NBC Sports Washington

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Walt Williams talks Wizards, his NBA career and life after basketball

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes was joined by former NBA player Walt Williams for a wide-ranging discussion. Williams talked about the Wizards, his show on NBC Sports Washington and his playing career.

Williams also projected the NBA prospects of Maryland Terrapins stars Bruno Fernando and Kevin Huerter.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!