A Look Around The AFC South: 9.5.17

Intro: Take a look at the latest regular season action around the AFC South Division, with excerpts from the Associated Press.

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INDIANAPOLIS —This time around, it counts.

After a long offseason, training camp and preseason, we've finally reached the regular season.

For the Indianapolis Colts, it all begins on Sunday afternoon, when they travel to Los Angeles to take on the Rams at the Coliseum.

The Colts, of course, just wrapped up their preseason slate with a 2-2 record, and this past weekend chopped down their preseason 90-man roster to its 53-man regular season version. The moves continued into Monday, when Indianapolis placed tight end Mo Alie-Cox on the Injured Reserve list and re-signed Brandon Williams, who spent the offseason with the team, in his place.

After completing their first practice of the regular season on Monday, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said his team got "a good start on L.A."

"I feel good, really good, about where we're at," Pagano said. "We're just going to come in here and work every single day and try to get better every single day.

"We've got good football character on this team," he continued. "I love the locker room. They love football; they've got passion for it. (We're) never going to be perfect, but we're going to strive just to come in here and work every single day to get better."

So what's going on around the rest of the AFC South Division? Let's take a team-by-team look, with excerpts written by the Associated Press:

Houston Texans
After a tough week waiting out Hurricane Harvey in Dallas and scrapping their final preseason game, the Houston Texans are home and looking toward Sunday's opener against Jacksonville.

While their thoughts are with the city as it begins its recovery from the storm and subsequent floods, the Texans know they must shift their focus to football this week.

"It's about winning football games," coach Bill O'Brien said. "I think that we'll do whatever we can in our spare time that we have to help the city, but ... as a football team, we're paid to coach and play and to win games. So, that's what our job is and we're going to go back to making sure we do as good a job as we can at our job."

Houston returned to a normal schedule on Monday for the first time since playing its third preseason game in New Orleans on Aug. 26.

From New Orleans the Texans flew to Dallas in advance of the storm and remained there, practicing in the Cowboys' facilities, until piling in busses and driving back to Houston on Wednesday when the roads into town were finally clear enough to return safely.

Players and staff spent Sunday in various locations around the city volunteering before returning to practice on Monday.

NRG Stadium was not damaged in the storm and O'Brien confirmed Monday that Sunday's game against Jacksonville will be played there as planned. He said team officials spoke with Houston mayor Sylvester Turner before making the decision.

And receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who practiced on Monday after missing time with an injured thumb, believes the game will be a boost to the city.

"In a big way. This is a football state," Hopkins said. "The state of Texas, in general, is a football state, so for us to go out there and get a win, I think that's what this city needs."

The Texans enter this week with questions on their offensive line with veteran left tackle Duane Brown continuing his holdout. He told reporters at a charity event on Monday that he plans to play this season, but didn't provide any details on when he might return to the team. But it's unlikely that he will be back in time to play on Sunday.

With Brown out, the Texans will look to Kendall Lamm to fill in. Lamm, who signed with the Texans after going undrafted in 2015, is looking forward to the opportunity.

"I'd lie (if I told) you there won't be a little bit of jitters," he said. "But as soon as I make contact the first play, all that goes away and, you know, you get back to football. So, it's exciting."

Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars added five players off waivers Sunday and cut third-string quarterback Brandon Allen.

The Jaguars acquired tight end James O'Shaughnessy (New England), defensive tackle Eli Ankou (Houston), linebacker Donald Payne (Baltimore), defensive back Lafayette Pitts (Miami) and offensive tackle William Poehls (Chicago). The Patriots traded with Kansas City to get O'Shaughnessy during the draft, so he's joining his third team in four months.

To make room on the 53-man roster, the Jaguars released veteran defensive tackle Stefan Charles and waived Allen, offensive lineman Jeremiah Poutasi, linebacker Hayes Pullard and tight end Neal Sterling. Cutting Allen leaves the Jaguars with two quarterbacks: starter Blake Bortles and backup Chad Henne.

Allen could land on Jacksonville's practice squad if he clears waivers.

The Jaguars added seven players to their 10-man practice squad Sunday: running back Tim Cook, defensive end Hunter Dimick, receiver Amba Etta-Tawo, offensive lineman Avery Gennesy, tight end David Grinnage, defensive back Tracy Howard and guard Chris Reed. All seven spent training camp with Jacksonville and were waived Saturday.

Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee Titans have brought back offensive lineman Brian Schwenke and waived center-guard Tim Lelito. Tennessee drafted Schwenke in the fourth round out of California in 2013. He started 25 games at center and three at left guard playing in 41 career games. He signed with Indianapolis this offseason only to be released Sunday

.The Titans on Monday also added wide receiver Zach Pascal to the practice squad. Pascal was waived by the Washington Redskins. He was signed as a undrafted free agent out of Old Dominion, where he set a school record with 233 catches for 3,193 yards and 30 touchdowns. He also returned kicks in college.

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