Reid commended Samuel and defensive end Juqua Parker, who missed his second consecutive game with a hip flexor strain, for being involved on the sideline.
"Everybody was into the game," Reid said.
Samuel's absence meant the 17th Eagles start for veteran corner Joselio Hanson, and an expanded role for fourth-round rookie Trevard Lindley, who saw his most extensive action Sunday at Chicago, the first game Samuel missed.
"I learned that the game is a lot faster than it is in college," Lindley said this week, as he prepared for the Texans. "Every down, receivers run harder. Every play could be a big play. Pretty much gotta learn quick and go on to the next play . . . Over time, you create chemistry, but this was pretty much my first time playing with [the other principal figures in the secondary] . . . I think I'm more ready this week than last week."
Lindley recovered Trevor Laws' fumble with a minute and 24 seconds left in the first half, after Laws got his hands up rushing Matt Schaub and plucked the ball. It was Laws' first career interception.
Shuffling along the line
Max Jean-Gilles was the starter at right guard, in place of Nick Cole. Cole has battled a knee injury all seasson but was a full practice participant this week.
"I thought maybe we could give Nick a little rest on his knee and get him back fresh after a few days," Reid said.
Cole came into the game when the Eagles used a sixth lineman on the goal line.
The Eagles also lost right tackle Winston Justice to an MCL sprain. He will have an MRI exam today, Andy Reid said.
Jorrick Calvin took the opening kickoff back 102 yards for a touchdown, but alas, Clay Harbor was flagged for holding. It was the second time this season Calvin has had a TD return negated . . .
Kicker David Akers played in his 184th Eagles game, a franchise record, passing Brian Dawkins . . .
Inactive for the Eagles was wide receiver Riley Cooper, who hadn't practiced this week with a knee injury. Chad Hall was active in Cooper's place and saw extensive action on the opening drive, including a red-zone Wildcat carry from the 2 to the 1 . . . Michael Vick had the fifth 300-yard passing game of his career.
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