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Texans WR Will Fuller expected to play vs. 49ers

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The Texans are expecting a big boost for their wide receiver depth chart.

NFL: Houston Texans at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans have been short-handed at wide receiver opposite DeAndre Hopkins, but they will likely be getting back a huge playmaker this week. Will Fuller was listed as limited on Wednesday with a rib injury, but head coach Bill O’Brien is optimistic Fuller will play. Additionally, the receiver said he feels a lot better, and will see what the next couple days bring.

Fuller has missed the last three games with a cracked rib. He also missed the first three games of the season with a fractured collarbone. Injuries have been an issue, but when he has gotten on the field, he has been a huge presence for this offense. In his first four games on the field, he hauled in seven touchdowns. He was relatively quiet in Weeks 9 and 10 before the rib injury, but clearly he can make plays.

If Fuller is good to go on Sunday, the 49ers secondary will face an even bigger challenge. DeAndre Hopkins is plenty difficult on his own, putting up big numbers this season regardless of the quarterback. But add in a receiver like Fuller, and suddenly it presents a significantly larger challenge.

The 49ers cornerbacks have had some good days, but the consistency has not been there. Football Outsiders ranks the 49ers No. 26 against No. 1 receivers, No. 29 against No. 2 receivers, and No. 28 against other receivers. One upside is the team is ranked third in defending tight ends. Stephen Anderson broke out in a big way last week, but the 49ers are in a position to contain him. Now they just need to step their game up against Hopkins and Fuller.