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Texans QB Mallett misses practice for personal issue

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Texans backup quarterback Ryan Mallett missed practice on Thursday for what coach Bill O’Brien called a personal issue.

Brian Hoyer was named the team’s starter on Monday after competing with Mallett for the job. On Tuesday, Mallett expressed his anger and disappointment at losing the job, but said he was going to continue to work hard.

Of the absence, O’Brien would only say: “That’s between Ryan and I. It’s just a personal issue for him.”

When asked if it was excused he repeated almost the same phrase.

O’Brien says he thinks Mallett will be back at practice on Friday. The Texans visit the Saints on Sunday.

COWBOYS DEPART

FROM OXNARD

OXNARD, Calif. (AP) — The Cowboys have broken camp in California, technically a day early but in keeping with their routine for preseason games this year.

Dallas ended a 29-day run in Oxnard with a Thursday morning practice that wrapped up with rookie defensive end Randy Gregory catching a punt in a challenge from coach Jason Garrett.

Garrett let the offensive and defensive lines nominate three players each, with the first one to catch a punt ending camp. Gregory went first, and cradled the ball as he fell to the ground.

The Cowboys will be at team headquarters today.