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Houston Texans

Green, other Texans on the mend


Running back Ahman Green wants to play Sunday's game in memory of his father.

Ahman Green's knee injury became insignificant Tuesday night when his father, Edward Kenneth Scott, passed away.

Green is part of a high-profile list of injured Texans trying to get healthy for Sunday's game at Reliant Stadium against the Miami Dolphins. Green plans to play if possible.

It's what his father would have wanted.

"The way my Dad and Mom raised me was you've got to roll with the punches regardless if they are pitter pat punches or big punches like me and my family had yesterday," Green said following Wednesday's practice.

"If he were here he'd say don't worry about them. Go play football. I know how he works. He taught me a lot of great things about life and that's what I'm going to think about every day."

{QUOTE}Green first hurt his right knee in the season opener against Kansas City.

"It's getting better, that's the big thing," Green said. "We're far away from where we were last week. That's a good positive thing I have to say about the knee."

The Texans running game hasn't been effective since Green's injury.

Wide receivers Jacoby Jones, Andre Johnson and Jerome Mathis also are trying to get ready for the Dolphins. Glenn Earl, Jason Simmons, Steve McKinney and Cedric Killings have been lost with injuries.

Jones spent last Sunday eating sunflower seeds. It wasn't what he had planned for his first season with the Houston Texans.

"Last week I must have gone through three bags of sunflower seeds on the sidelines,'' Jones said. "After not missing a game in your life, you're on the sidelines trying to help your teammates in some kind of way."

All the injured players were missed in Sunday's 26-16 loss to the Atlanta Falcons and they could be sidelined for Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins.

Jones is eager to resume his surprising rookie season that started with a sensational preseason. He suffered a shoulder separation late in a 30-26 loss to the Indianapolis Colts and has been rehabbing three times a day.

"It's a tightness right now," Jones said. "We're going to see how it works at practice this week and see if we can go. There's a chance, a strong chance."

That's Jones' assessment. The final say will come from head coach Gary Kubiak.

Mathis suffered through an injury-filled 2006 season but spent his offseason in the weight room. He doesn't think his current foot injury will keep him out too much longer.

"My foot is feeling better. It's still sore," Mathis said. "It's something that we have to deal with right now. It's frustrating, but injuries are a part of the game. All you can do is try to get healthy and move on."

Mathis doesn't anticipate another extended period of being sidelined.

"Definitely not," he said. "Last year it was a broken bone. That's going to take time to heal. This one is feeling better each day. It's sore, but we deal with it."

Johnson was the NFL's leading receiver and he was off to a fast start this season.

"When me and André (Davis) are sitting in a meeting, talking about plays, that's how I keep my mind off not playing, by talking to him about certain things," Johnson said.

"Those guys they know what they have to do. Last week they went out and just about every ball that was thrown to them, they caught and made plays."

And when does he think he'll return?

"I'm tired of thinking about it," Johnson said. "It seems like the longer it takes the more frustrating I'm getting. I guess I'm not as fast a healer as I thought I was. In the past two weeks I've made some strides."

Jones said he wasn't surprised that other receivers like Davis and Kevin Walter had stepped up to keep the passing game moving.

"I've seen this before," Jones said. "When you ask about our receivers, I said we're a unique group. I knew we could play like that. I knew André (Davis) could make plays and Kevin Walter, he steps up, he also could step up. We have a unique group."

The Texans played Atlanta with three wide receivers.

"It's unfortunate you have to play with three but those guys really stepped up to the table and did the things we asked them to do under difficult circumstances," wide receivers coach Larry Kirksey said.

Green admits it's been a difficult period in his life.

"It's hard. I've been juggling that, watching my team hurt without me and dealing with my family issues off the field," Green said. "It's all been tough. With our job, we've got to focus. It's tough to do all that at once."

Whenever he returns, Green will give credit to his father.

"He made me who I am because I've played with a lot of stuff in terms of emotional, physical and injuries that a lot of people don't know about that I've gone through ether in my mind or on my body," Green said. "He built that in me."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Michael A. Lutz worked for The Associated Press for 38 years covering news and sports in Louisville, Ky. Dallas and Houston. Most of that time was spent in Houston covering the Oilers, Astros, Texans and other college and pro sports.

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