Notes from the Texans' practice and locker room on Thursday at Reliant Stadium:
Johnson TalkWide receiver Andre Johnson was back at practice Thursday, but watched from the sidelines. For more on that story, click here.
Oakland running back Darren McFadden is atop the NFL in rushing yards through four games (as discussed in Wednesday's notes). Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips met with the media after practice and was asked which former NFL running back was comparable. Phillips went with a Hall of Famer who played his high school ball in Sealy, Texas, and collegiately at Southern Methodist University.
"He looks a lot like Eric Dickerson did," Phillips said. "He's that kind of a runner. He's got quick feet and that tremendous burst. But he's real powerful."
Phillips said the running styles are similar because McFadden "runs a little high" like Dickerson.
Backup running back Chris Ogbonnaya is second in the running back pecking order with Ben Tate and Derrick Ward sidelined due to injury, and he's impressed the leader at that position, Arian Foster.
"We've all had confidence in him since training camp," Foster said of Ogbonnaya. "We knew what he was doing then when he was carrying the load in training camp when everybody was hurt. We all have confidence in him and I'm happy to see that his hard work has paid off and he's on the 53 now."
Like Foster, Ogbonnaya was a practice squad member for Houston before getting signed to the 53-man roster. The 2010 All-Pro spoke about the kinship with regards to that fact.
"Me and him have had talks outside of football just getting to know each other and about our situations current and past," Foster said. "I think that's what makes running backs so close is we go through a lot of the same things."
After missing Sunday's game and Wednesday's practice, cornerback Kareem Jackson was back on the field Thursday with his teammates. Jackson didn't play against the Steelers because of a knee injury he suffered against New Orleans. Today, however, he said it was good to be back at work.
"Physically, I feel pretty good," Jackson said. "Guys in the training room know we've been doing everything to get everything back to 100 percent. Those guys have been pushing me and doing all the right things, so I feel pretty good about this week."
Jackson said he's "definitely" ready to play against Oakland and has "no limitations" on what he can do this weekend.
Despite that, head coach Gary Kubiak wants to see more, and wasn't ready to say that Jackson will take back the starting role from Jason Allen.
"Kareem's got to prove to us tomorrow that he's back to 100 percent or awful close to it before we put him back out there," Kubiak said. "I'll make that decision going into the game. Hopefully they're both available. I look at them as both starters, so we'll see, see what happens."
Quotable"We're facing one of the best backs in the League. Certainly, we have the best one but he's really a top player and leading the League in rushing." –Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips on Oakland's Darren McFadden and the Texans'Arian Foster.
"Yeah, I caught a lot of grief all week for that. I think I've learned my lesson." –Fullback James Casey on leaping during the Steelers game, and nearly fumbling.