Back to work

The bye week is now just a memory for the Texans.

The team returned to practice Monday afternoon after a four-day vacation.

Head coach Dom Capers gave the squad an extra day off last week in hopes that players will come back healthy and refreshed to take on the division-leading Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday at Reliant Stadium.

It seems the plan has worked.

The Texans sat a dozen players out of last Wednesday's practice. All but two returned to the practice Monday.

"I think the rest helps," defensive tackle Seth Payne said. "We're starting to get into that part of the season where we have a few nicks here and there. So hopefully those guys are going to be healed up."

Wide receiver Corey Bradford (hamstring) and offensive tackle Todd Wade (ankle) did not practice, but quarterback David Carr, safeties Glenn Earl and Jason Simmons and fullback Moran Norris returned to practice on a limited basis.

Wade, who suffered a high ankle sprain against Minnesota, worked at rehabbing the injury over the weekend. Capers said he and Bradford will likely be listed as "questionable" for Sunday's game.

A questionable player has about a "50-50" chance of playing in the game. Capers said he will know more when the players get back on the practice field later in the week.

"This is my first time to ever have something like this, but now I can walk regularly without a limp I think," Wade said. "This whole thing is kind of tricky."

There has been some debate about the timing of the Texans bye week. Sometimes the vacation can come too early, sometimes too late. The Texans break came in the middle of a hot streak.

The team has won three of the past four games, including two on the road at Kansas City and Tennessee.

Then again, the Jaguars (5-2) are fresh off an upset of Indianapolis (4-2) to take the top spot in the AFC South. But, some extra time to prepare is rarely a bad thing.

"You really don't like to stop playing when you're hot, but I think it was good to get guys back healthy and heal some of the nicks and bruises," wide receiver Andre Johnson said. "Hopefully it will help us out to have had some time off before we play Jacksonville."

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