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Dunta to return to action


Cornerback Dunta Robinson, who has been on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list since the season began, will begin practicing with the team this week. The cornerback could provide the spark the Texans need as they come off their first win of the season.

Dunta coming back: This week, Dunta Robinson is eligible to practice with the Texans for the first time this season as coaches are given a window that runs up to Week 10 to activate players off the PUP list.

Robinson wouldn't count against the 53-man roster during the three-week period, but the Texans don't plan to wait that long to active the him.

Coach Gary Kubiak has been encouraged by what he has seen from Robinson's rehab and the team will consider playing him Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

"He hasn't been able to practice with us, but from when I've seen him work he's looked like he's ready to go," Kubiak . "I think we'll have to be smart. We'll put him in a competitive environment on Wednesday. Whether that's scout team or however we do that, we'll see how he comes out of that. We'll work him Thursday probably on a limited role with the defense. I think by Thursday, evening we'll have a good idea of whether or not he's ready to play some this week."

{QUOTE}If Robinson does return to the lineup, his reps will be monitored. The star cornerback tore his knee and hamstring last Nov. 4, and the Texans want to ease him back into the rotation.

"We talked about it in the locker room after the game," Kubiaks said. "I asked him if he's ready to go, and he's been chomping at the bit. I know he can't wait to get back out there. It's been a long, long haul for him and he's worked extremely hard. He's had this day earmarked and his teammates think a lot of him, so I know they are excited for him to get back on that field."

Kubiak and Kyle make call: Perhaps the gutsiest call in franchise history was a collaborative effort on Sunday. Kubiak said he worked with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to run a quarterback draw on fourth-and-two with seven seconds left on the clock.

"We had a set group of plays that we liked inside the five yard-line that we go into the game with, and we used them all," Kubiak said. "I mean, the first one we ran where we got Andre (Johnson) the ball on the first down down to the three - we came back with our next two and about the only run we had on our cards down there was the quarterback draw that we liked. We talked about it and took a shot because of the coverage that they were playing.

"Kyle's doing a great job. He's getting better every week. He's calling a lot of great plays, very comfortable with him right now."

Kubiak and Shanahan have been calling plays together this season on just about every down.

"He calls a great deal," Kubiak said. "We work together. We work together throughout the game, but I'm very comfortable with a lot of things he's doing."

In 1995, Kubiak became the offensive coordinator in Denver under Kyle's dad, Mike Shanahan. Kubiak couldn't remember exactly when he started calling plays, but knew it was early in his career.

"I called them very quickly," Kubiak said. "I can't remember it's so long ago. I worked with Mike through a great portion of my career the same way. It was a certain time - I couldn't tell you exactly when, where he totally went away from it and said, 'Go ahead.' I can't remember when that was. That was a long time ago."

D-line gelling: Thanks to a few personnel tweaks and creative assignments, the defensive line has been getting pressure on the passer and making tackles in backfield.

The Texans are using an eight-man rotation on the defensive line that includes brining defensive tackle Amobi Okoye off the bench for pass rushing situations. The rotation has helped make Earl Cochran and Tim Bulman into better players. Against Miami, Bulman recorded two quarterback hits and Cochran came up with a key tackle for a loss.

"I think just a group, I think (defensive line coach) Jethro (Franklin) and (senior defensive coach) Frank (Bush) have done a good job of kind of finding a niche for all eight of them and how he's rotating them and keeping Amobi fresh. I think they're playing better from that standpoint."

As for Mario Williams, the defensive end was been working both sides of the line and even calling some of his own plays. Williams has recorded four sacks in his last two games.

"We're able to do a lot of things with him because of how smart of a player he is," Kubiak said. "We actually give him some freedom sometimes depending on some calls that we make. He's so sharp of what's going on and down and distance and understanding and studying offensive football right now, we're able to get some of that done."

Kubiak trusted Schuab: Kubiak said he put a lot of trust in Schaub in Sunday's game because the coach had planned to run a pass-heavy offense to open up lanes for the running back.

"Our players knew going into that game we were fixing to throw the ball a lot, especially early," Kubiak said. "When you're doing that, you are trusting your quarterback. But your team goes kind of as he goes, so it was a tough situation we put him in from a game plan standpoint yesterday."

Schaub started out the by throwing interceptions on the first two drives and getting booed by the home crowd. He ended up with 379 receiving yards, a game-winning three-yard scamper and his coach's trust.

"It's tough playing quarterback in this league," Kubiak. "You're going to go through tough times and how you battle through those tough times really probably will have a lot to do with whether or not you do it a long, long time at the starting level. He went through a tough time yesterday. He starts the game - he was not very clean. He made some mistakes with the ball.

"It's disappointing from all of our standpoints. But at the same time, he kept plugging. When the team needed him to make the biggest plays he could make, he found a way to get that done. So very encouraged by the way he finished the football game."

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