For the second time this season, second-year linebacker Desmond Bishop was called on to play a significant role in Green Bay's defense due to injury as he started the first game of his career, opening up at the weak-side linebacker spot in place of Brandon Chillar.
In Week 10 at Minnesota, Bishop played the majority of the second half at middle linebacker after Nick Barnett left the game with a season-ending knee injury. With A.J. Hawk taking over in the middle since Week 11 vs. Chicago, Bishop filled in on the weak side for Chillar, who sustained a groin injury in practice on Wednesday.
Bishop made his presence felt as he led the team with 11 tackles, including two for loss, according to press box statistics. It was a day of firsts for the sixth-round draft pick out of California as he also recorded his first forced fumble and sack on Sunday.
"That's how I play," Bishop said. "I just try to have a high motor and fly around and try to help get a win."
With the Packers trailing 7-0 early in the second quarter and the Texans deep in Green Bay territory, Bishop stripped tight end Owen Daniels on an 8-yard reception at the Packers 3, and cornerback Tramon Williams recovered the fumble.
The series after Bishop forced the fumble, he brought down quarterback Matt Schaub for a 6-yard loss. On Houston's second possession of the game, Bishop broke into the backfield to stop fullback Cecil Sapp for a 3-yard loss on 3rd-and-1.
On the Texans' winning drive, Bishop was covering Daniels when he broke free for a 27-yard gain to set up Kris Brown's 40-yard kick as time expired.
"It was an easy route, and I cover it time and time again very consistently, mostly at practice against Driver and Jennings," Bishop said. "To let that one slip by, it's probably going to be on my mind."
Green Bay debuts
Two of the three players that the Packers signed from the practice squad this week, linebacker Spencer Havner and defensive tackle Alfred Malone, were active against the Texans.
For Havner, who spent parts of the last three seasons on the team's practice squad, it was his NFL debut. He played on special teams and made a nice play to down punter Jeremy Kapinos' 35-yard punt late in the fourth quarter at the Houston 3.
Malone got a chance to face the team he entered the league with as a non-drafted free agent in 2005 out of Troy. He played in four games with the Texans from 2005-06 and joined the Packers in '07, spending the last three games last season and the first 12 this year on the practice squad.
Malone saw limited action on defense, and the press box stats credited him with three tackles.
Cornerback Joe Porter, also signed to the active roster on Monday after spending the first 12 games on the practice squad, was inactive on Sunday.
Finding the end zone
Tight end Donald Lee caught a touchdown pass Sunday against the Texans for the third time in four games.
Lee's score was the first by the Packers in the game, which came when quarterback Aaron Rodgers found him in the left corner of the end zone for the 20-yard score.
Lee's other two recent scores came on 5-yarders from Rodgers, last week vs. Carolina and three weeks ago vs. Chicago.
It is the first time in Lee's six-year career that he has caught a touchdown pass in three out of four games. He now has five TD catches this season, one shy of tying his career-high six set in 2007.
Hitting some marks
Rodgers went over the 3,000-yard passing mark on a 4-yard pass to Brandon Jackson in the second quarter, and now has 3,192 on the season.
Rodgers' 63-yard pass on the last play of the third quarter to wide receiver Greg Jennings was Green Bay's longest pass play of the season.
Tramon Williams' interception of Matt Schaub in the second quarter was his fifth of the season, matching Nick Collins and Charles Woodson for the team lead. It is the first time since 1996 that the Packers have had three players with five interceptions in a season. In 1996, Eugene Robinson picked off six passes and LeRoy Butler and Doug Evans each posted five interceptions.
Long snapper Brett Goode recovered the first fumble of his career when he scooped up Jacoby Jones' muffed catch on a punt in the fourth quarter.
Tackle Mark Tauscher sustained a "significant" injury to his left knee in the second quarter. McCarthy said after the game that Tauscher is likely out for the remainder of the season. Tony Moll came in for Tauscher at right tackle and played the rest of the game there.
Linebacker Danny Lansanah sustained an arm injury and did not return. Fullback Korey Hall had a knee injury and also did not return.
Safety Nick Collins injured his shin making a tackle of fullback Vonta Leach on the sideline late in the fourth quarter, and did not return. Collins said after the game that he will be ready to play next Sunday at Jacksonville.