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Davis to undergo surgery


Coach Gary Kubiak said there was a lot to like in the Texans 28-21 win over the Detroit Lions, including outstanding play from Owen Daniels and Andre Johnson. He also said there was a lot of room for improvement.

Davis undergoes surgery: Wide receiver André Davis underwent surgery Monday evening on his left ring finger. Davis, who has seven catches for 123 yards so far this season, has been playing with the injured finger for several weeks.

"It's just been giving him fits," coach Gary Kubiak said. "So we're going to go in there today, and they are going to go ahead and take a look and see if they can, it's my understanding, to see if they can set it. If they can't set it, they may have to put a small pin in there, which could set him back. But we're going to keep our fingers crossed that he plays next week."

If doctors are able to set Davis' finger without a pin, then the he could play on Sunday against the Bengals.

Working the rotation: Kubiak is finding that he can get the best out of some of his players by frequently rotating them into the lineup.

For several weeks, DeMarcus Faggins has been starting at cornerback opposite of Jacques Reeves, and Fred Bennett, who struggled as a starter early in the year, has been coming off the bench.

"I was disappointed in his play back in Weeks 2, 3, 4 in there," Kubiak said of Bennett. "I didn't think he was playing the way he was capable of playing. I thought Petey (Faggins) was playing very well. We had been rotating those three guys. Fred did play very well yesterday, I felt. But we're searching for some combinations on this team.

On Sunday, Dunta Robinson was added to the mix and used primarily in nickel situations. Kubiak had planned to play Robinson for less than 20 snaps, but the cornerback looked so good that the coach kept him in for 25.

"He played a little bit more than probably I would have liked him to," Kubiak said. "The situation dictated that, and he also told us in the fourth quarter, 'Hey, I'm fine. Let me go.'"

Left tackle Ephraim Salaam also saw the field for the first time this season, replacing rookie Duane Brown every third series. Kubiak had noticed in game film that Brown was playing well for 40 to 45 plays but struggling for about 15 to 20.

"What we decided to do was get Ephraim in that rotation; it was every third series," Kubiak said. "Ephraim needs the work too, and I think it helped Duane. Duane played extremely well in the game. And Ephraim, I thought, brought something to the group also."

On the defensive line, Kubiak has been using an eight-man rotation that has DelJuan Robinson starting at defensive tackle for Amobi Okoye, who has been coming in on pass rushing situations. Defensive end Tim Bulman has become a staple in the rotation and recorded his first career sack against the Lions, taking down Dan Orlovsky for a seven-yard loss.

"Our team has a lot of good competition," Kubiak said. "And the message is if you're doing it and doing it well, you're going to be out there. Competition is making this football team better, and hopefully we can continue to have that."

Dunta grades high: Dunta Robinson hadn't played in a game since Nov. 4 when he suffered career-threatening injuries to his right knee and hamstring, so he was bound to be a little rusty in his first game back.

The cornerback saw action in 25 plays, mostly on third-down situations covering Lions receiver Mike Furrey, whom he lost twice. But Robinson made two tackles and showed he was on track to resuming his big-hitting ways.

"(The way) he competes and the way he flies around to the football, the way he tackles, the aggressive nature, there was nothing missing right there," Kubiak said.

"He came out of it good today, so it's moving in the right direction."

{QUOTE}Johnson has his way: For the last three games, Andre Johnson has had his way with defenders, recording131 yards against Indianapolis, a career-high 178 yards against Miami and 141 yards in Sunday's win over the Lions. His 450 receiving yards this month leads all NFL receivers and is over 100 yards ahead of the next closest player, Carolina's Steve Smith.

The success comes after a frustrating September when Johnson notched just 179 receiving yards. Why the increase in productivity? Kubiak said that coaches are finding more ways to get the Pro Bowler the ball.

"We're moving him around a lot," Kubiak said. "The key really is Andre, to be honest with you. Because when you have a guy that's as productive as he is right now in this league, there's a lot of good defensive coaches in this league, a lot of good coaches and they'll find a way to shut him down. They'll find a way to say, 'You're not going to get this guy the ball today.'

"But when you can move a guy a lot, like we do, we play Andre both sides of the ball, x and z. We play him inside. We play him outside. When your player can keep up from that standpoint and do a lot of things, then it is tougher to take him away. So it's a big credit to Andre and what we're doing with him and him being in tune and being able to handle all of that."

OD a lot like AJ: Owen Daniels ranks first among tight ends in receptions (29) and receiving yards (374) this season. And like Andre Johnson, the Texans have found they moving him around on the line of scrimmage has helped him get open down field.

"Owen's beaten man coverage," Kubiak said. "He's beaten zone coverage. We move him around a bunch. We play him at the y. We play him at what we call our tiger position. He can handle a lot also. The same thing I just said about Andre , I could say the same thing about OD."

Daniels is averaging 62.3 receiving yards per game and 21 of his 29 catches have been for first downs.

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