While the Saints gain starting RDE Will Smith back from suspension, they've lost team captain Jonathan Vilma.
The Saints' defensive stalwart, who hadn't missed a game due to injury before as a Saint, warmed up on the sidelines but was inactive after injuring his left knee against Chicago last week. He had been unable to practice this week.
MLB Jo-Lonn Dunbar started in his place.
Inactive for the Saints are DE Jeff Charleston, WR Marques Colston (collar bone), Garrett Hartley (hip), DT Tom Johnson, CB Tracy Porter, C Matt Tennant, and Vilma (left knee).
For the Texans, starting RB Arian Foster is inactive after rushing his return from a hamstring injury last week. Backup RB Derrick Ward is also out with an ankle injury, but the Texans have rookie Ben Tate and veteran Steve Slaton in a loaded backfield where starters are interchangeable.