Houston also placed safety Corey Moore on injured reserve and signed free agent guard Erik Austell to the practice squad. The Texans released guard Dorian Johnson from the practice squad. The moves were announced on Wednesday.
Moore is dealing with a Grade 2 sprained MCL.
Texans quarterback Taylor Heinicke is in the concussion protocol. T.J. Yates was also banged up and checked for a concussion in Week 16.
Johnson, 31, entered the NFL as a fifth round pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2008 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound passer joined the Cleveland Browns for the 2012 season and played for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2013. Johnson, who was previously on the Texans' roster this season, has also played for the San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, Indianapolis Colts, Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens.
The New York Giants cut Johnson before the regular season.
Johnson has completed 53.2 percent of his throws for 1,042 yards, five scores and 10 interceptions in 29 career games. He has five career starts.
On Wednesday, Texans coach Bill O'Brien told reporters that he wasn't "sure yet" about who the Texans backup quarterback will be in Week 17.
"Yeah, I mean, we had to make that move to make sure that we were obviously doing what's best for the team from a depth standpoint at that position. No doubt about it," O'Brien said.
Houston battles the Indianapolis Colts at 1 p.m. Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.