Smith, who underwent surgery on a broken hand earlier this season, got hurt in Monday night's win over the Buffalo Bills. He was kept out of practice this week and the Browns hoped he would be well enough to play. However, Smith was not activated and Santonio Thomas started in his spot on the right side.
Cleveland's defensive line has been hurt by injuries all season. Robaire Smith sustained a season-ending injury against Pittsburgh in Week 2, Corey Williams has been slowed by a shoulder injury and nose tackle Shaun Rogers has been having a Pro Bowl-caliber season despite neck and shoulder problems.
Texans cornerback Dunta Robinson made his first start this season against the Browns. He has been slowly working his way back after sustaining a serious knee injury last season. Robinson started at right cornerback in place of Jacques Reeves, who moved to the left side ahead of Fred Bennett.