Texans FS Danieal Manning, one of the club's top offseason acquisitions who had quickly become the leader in the secondary, is holding out hope that he can return this season after suffering a broken fibula while making an interception in Week Seven. In Manning's absence, S Troy Nolan becomes a full-time starter. Nolan, who already was playing a lot in the nickel package, does not possess the smarts or leadership qualities of Manning but he can get the job done, we hear. CB Brice McCain, the team's nickel corner last season, will go back to his old role. The undersized but speedy McCain was benched last season after losing his confidence, but DBs coach Vance Joseph has played a hand in helping McCain regain his mojo. McCain's speed and playmaking ability were on display in the fourth quarter in Week Seven, when he picked off Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck, weaving in and out of traffic 38 yards for a pick-six.