Houston tops Jets
Chris Ogbonnaya caught a touchdown pass from Matt Leinart and ran for the winning score in the fourth quarter of the Texans’ 20-16 win over the New York Jets on Monday night in Houston.
The regular starters for both sides only played the first quarter.
Mark Sanchez looked sharp, completing 6 of 7 passes, two to Santonio Holmes. Sanchez’s usual backup, Mark Brunell, did not play because of a finger injury, leaving the rest of the game to seventh-round draft pick Greg McElroy, the former Alabama star.
Houston’s Matt Schaub, meanwhile, looked shaky for the Texans. He went 2 for 5 for 20 yards and was sacked once before Leinart replaced him.
Ogbonnaya accounted for 104 total yards – 37 on the ground and 67 receiving. He was just about the last running back standing for Houston after Derrick Ward left in the first half with a head injury. Arian Foster, the 2010 NFL rushing champ, and backups Steve Slaton and Ben Tate were injured.
Houston trailed 16-13 in the final quarter when Derrick Townsel returned a punt to the New York 37. Two plays later, rookie T.J. Yates completed a 28-yard pass to rookie Lestar Jean to the 1. Ogbonnaya dived into the end zone on the first play following the 2-minute warning.
The Jets had a chance to win it in the final minute, but undrafted free agent Michael Campbell dropped a 32-yard pass from McElroy in the end zone.
Umenyiora finally practices with Giants
Having given up his bid for a new contract, two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora practiced with the New York Giants for the first time since training camp opened last month.
The 29-year-old Umenyiora worked with the first team defense in East Rutherford, N.J.
Culpepper works out with 49ers
Daunte Culpepper threw passes to tight end Nate Lawrie once again, on a little bigger stage this time than during their stint together last year with the United Football League’s Sacramento Mountain Lions.
Culpepper worked out for some 30 minutes in front of the San Francisco 49ers brass in Santa Clara, Calif. – and Lawrie called it a crisp, impressive session.
Alex Smith is still the front-runner to win the starting quarterback job – though Harbaugh hasn’t named him the top guy yet.
Minnesota Vikings right guard Anthony Herrera has been taken off the physically unable to perform list, slightly ahead of schedule with rehabilitation on his surgically repaired left knee.
Herrera participated in practice. Coach Leslie Frazier said Herrera was back about a week earlier than expected and added that he could play a series in Saturday’s exhibition game at Seattle .
Marv Levy tries hand at football novel
Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy is trying his hand at fiction. And of course he’s got a story about football.
The former Buffalo Bills coach and general manager has completed a novel titled, “Between The Lies,” due out in September, Kansas-based Ascend Books has announced. Ascend describes the story as featuring two fictional teams en route to the Super Bowl with the integrity of the game hanging in the balance.