HOUSTON -- Texans quarterback Matt Schaub isn't expected to play in Friday night's preseason finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because of a sprained ankle, but he should be ready for the regular-season opener.
Schaub sprained his ankle during the second quarter of Houston's 17-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night. He returned after the injury but was limping, and Dan Orlovsky replaced him to start the third quarter.
"He's very upbeat about it," Kubiak said. "He called me on the way home last night as I was driving home and told me that he'll be fine and ready to go."
The Texans are hoping to keep Schaub on the field more this season. He has missed five games in each of his first two seasons in Houston with injuries.
The team probably will use Friday's game as a chance to see more from Orlovsky, who played for the Detroit Lions last season. He has been somewhat inconsistent this preseason, but Kubiak said Orlovsky is improving.
Orlovsky moved Houston's offense well on his first series against Minnesota before throwing an interception in the red zone.
"He's making progress, but he continues to make some of the mistakes that can get you hurt," Kubiak said. "I am impressed with him coming on the field last night to start the second half and taking us right down the field and making a couple of really nice plays. Then you're disappointed on that play he tries to make on the 13-yard line. You just can't do that."
Kubiak said playing with the Texans' first-team offense for a quarter Monday should be beneficial for Orlovsky's comfort level if Schaub can't play. Kubiak and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will continue to work with Orlovsky to cut down on his mistakes.
While Schaub probably will sit out Friday, the Texans expect quarterback Rex Grossman to return after missing more than two weeks with a hamstring injury. They want to see more from him after his only work this preseason was one pass attempt in Houston's preseason opener.
Several other players also were injured against the Vikings, but none of those injuries appear to be serious. Wide receiver Kevin Walter has a hamstring injury, and fullback Vonta Leach and safety Eugene Wilson, who was injured on the illegal crackback block by Vikings quarterback Brett Favre, both have injured knees. All are listed as day-to-day.
The Texans released cornerbacks Cletis Gordon and David Pittman, wide receiver Mike Jones and tackle Jason Watkins on Tuesday to get down to the 75-player limit.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press