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Good news for Texans ILBs

After multiple injuries on defense, the Texans inside linebackers could be close to full strength for Sunday's game against Jacksonville.

"Joe practiced today and all indications are, if things go good this week, he'll be back," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "That's a big plus."

Joe Mays returned to practice on Wednesday after missing the Texans' 28-23 loss to Oakland with knee and abdomen injuries.

"I felt good today, getting back out there on the field, running around, moving around," Mays said. "I didn't feel any pain or discomfort. It felt good."

With Mays out against the Oakland Raiders, Darryl Sharpton started alongside Jeff Tarpinian, the free agent signed on October 28. Sharpton logged 19 tackles, 11 solo in the game. Sharpton, who dealt with multiple injuries that kept him out of training camp and the season opener at San Diego, has been a consistent performer despite having limited practice reps.

"Yeah, I'm real pleased with him (Sharpton)," Kubiak said. "We've got a group of guys that aren't practicing very much football that we're counting on playing on Sunday. And he's on the top of the list. Really, he's practices maybe a little bit on Friday and plays. Just grateful that he's holding up and he's playing well. And he goes out there with a guy last week who had been here for 10 days and he's got to tell him what to do. You think about how he's handled the situation when Joe (Mays) was out and (Jeff) Tarpinian playing with him, you have to be impressed."

Tarpinian stepped up in his first start as a Texan with 20 tackles and one pass defensed for the injured Mays.

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