Notes from the Texans' practice and locker room on Friday at Reliant Stadium:
Wide receiver Andre Johnson will miss Sunday's contest against the Bengals, but another wide receiver didn't practice Friday, either. Kevin Walter missed out because of an illness. However, head coach Gary Kubiak thinks Walter will suit up Sunday in Cincinnati.
"It takes a lot to keep Kevin off the field, so until we get to tomorrow morning and he tells me he's ready to go, yeah, I'm a little bit concerned," Kubiak said. "But I know Kevin. He'll do everything he can to get there and I know playing back in Cincinnati is always big for him, but we'll see what happens."
Linebacker Brian Cushing and fullback Lawrence Vickers are expected to play against the Bengals, after missing parts of practices this week.
Joseph's weekend trip
Sunday marks the first time Johnathan Joseph will suit up in Cincinnati in a Texans uniform. He signed as a free-agent before the start of this year's training camp, and has helped anchor the secondary since he arrived. Head coach Gary Kubiak likes what Joseph's brought to the defense.
"He's been everything we thought he would be and more," Kubiak said. "The thing I've been so impressed with, we knew he was a great player, but the leadership he's brought to this team, the stability with all those young guys back there."
Joseph downplayed the return to Cincinnati on Wednesday, and explained his thoughts heading into the game against his former teammates.
"For me, it'll be just like any other week, to be honest," Joseph said. "I'm not really caught up into the hype of just me going back to Cincinnati or anything like that just because, me, I just want to go out and just play football and just have fun at the end of the day."
Punter Matt Turk signed with the Texans earlier this week to replace Brett Hartmann, who was place on injured reserve with an ACL injury in his right leg. Turk, who punted for the Texans from 2007-2010, played in five games earlier this season with Jacksonville, but spent the bulk of the last two months at home in Houston after he was released. Rejoining the Texans was an exciting turn of events for Turk.
"From the first day I stepped in the locker room, it's a different vibe," Turk said. "It's a different feeling. It's a different team, really, and I'm just excited that I can be a part of it."
Turk said he spent the last couple of months with his family, and sprang into action after watching Sunday's win over Atlanta.
"I really hadn't thought that anything was going to happen this year," Turk said. "I was watching the game live and I saw Brett go down and I was thinking, 'Oh my gosh. That looks serious.' So, I got up, went to the gym, got warmed up and stretched and started swinging my leg a little bit and thought, well, if it's meant to be, it will be."
"I've been watching them since opening day. I still have a lot of really good friends on this team and I love Houston. This is our home and I love the Texans. I've been watching them and praying for them and somehow, some way, I ended up back here." –Punter Matt Turk on how much he's followed the Texans this season.
"Just look at where we were last year and what's going on this year, the job that he's done." –Head coach Gary Kubiak on defensive back's coach Vance Joseph.