Brooks Reed says he’ll play this week

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The Texans have already locked up the AFC South, leaving them with two primary concerns in the final two weeks of the season.

They want to secure home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs and make sure that they’re as healthy as possible once the playoffs roll around. Linebacker Brooks Reed figures into both of those desires. He’s missed the last three games with a groin injury and his return would bolster their defense as they try to hold off the Broncos and Patriots for the top spot in the conference in the last two weeks.

Reed returned to practice on Wednesday and said after the session that he will play this week against the Vikings barring a setback in practice.

“It felt good. It felt good to get back on the field again, move my legs. I feel pretty confident in my performance today in practice,” Reed said, via “I felt good today. I won’t really know until I’m hitting 350-pounders when I’m trying to defend the run.”

Reed had 2.5 sacks in 11 starts before getting hurt on Thanksgiving against the Lions. He’ll team with Connor Barwin and Whitney Mercilus in the team’s outside linebacker rotation once he returns to the lineup and, the Texans hope, give them another weapon to use to stunt the progress of opposing offenses in January.

Reed’s return to practice leaves the Texans looking healthy heading into this weekend. Cornerback Alan Ball was the only player not to practice for them on Wednesday.