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The Texans this week designated LB Christian Kirksey to return from IR, and he has practiced with the team. If his repaired left thumb is ready for Sunday's game against the Colts, the returning starter would destabilize LB Zach Cunningham's role. Cunningham had sunk to a reserve spot behind Kirksey and Kamu Grugier-Hill before Kirksey's injury. We'll watch for whether Kirksey makes it back to the active roster.

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ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports that LB Christian Kirksey is signing a 2-year deal to remain with the Texans. Kirksey was a full-time player for the 12 starts he made in Houston last year (among 13 appearances). It was his healthiest season since 2017, disrupted primarily by a 3-week absence for a thumb fracture. This contract points to Kirksey retaining a starting job under new HC Lovie Smith, who spent last season as the DC. We'll see who else lines up with Kirksey. Kamu Grugier-Hill -- the corps' other 2021 playing-time leader -- and Neville Hewitt are set to hit free agency next week.

The Texans on Saturday placed LB Christian Kirksey on IR, following surgery on his fractured thumb. He'll miss the next 3 games but should be back after that. Neville Hewitt looks like his replacement, though we'll see exactly how the playing time gets split among the Houston LBs against Miami this week. This will be the 1st game Kirksey has missed this year.

The Texans have ruled LB Christian Kirksey out for Sunday's game against the Dolphins with his fractured thumb. It's a little surprising after Kirksey played through the injury last week (after it occurred at the end of the Week 7 game). It's tough to know what the LB playing time will look like with Kirksey out. According to the Houston Chronicle, Neville Hewitt "was prepared to play in place of Kirksey last week," when Kirksey played with a "club" on his injured hand. So it appears Hewitt -- rather than Zach Cunningham -- will be the 2nd LB alongside Kamu Grugier-Hill.

Texans LB Christian Kirksey is active for today's game against the Rams. He's dealing with a thumb fracture but said he planned to play through it.

Texans LB Christian Kirksey is questionable for Sunday's game against the Rams. He fractured a thumb late in last week's game. Kirksey said Thursday, though, that he plans to play through the injury. We'll confirm his status Sunday.

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