Off the leash


Two Texans were lifted from the physically unable to perform (P.U.P.) list Wednesday and practiced with the team for the first time since the spring.

Tight end Bennie Joppru and quarterback B.J. Symons will be able to practice for three weeks before the team must decide to make room for them on the active roster or place them on injured reserve for the rest of the season.

Safety Ramon Walker was brought off the P.U.P. list last week but injured his hamstring and has missed the last few days of practice.

"It's been so long since we've seen them," head coach Dom Capers said of Joppru and Symons. "They've done an awful lot of running. They goy their track workout down. Now it's time for them to get their football workout down."

Symons, a seventh-round draft pick out of Texas Tech, injured his knee in college. He spent some time running the scout team in Wednesday's practice.

A Houston native, he threw for an NCAA record 5,833 yards his senior year.

"I think it took me a day to get used to it, definitely," he said of his return to full practice. "It's my first time being out there with the pads on and I had to get comfortable. It felt good to be out there just to be able to do a few extra things, so I'm pleased."

Joppru, a second round pick in the 2003 draft has battled a groin injury since joining the team from Michigan. He suffered the injury in his first training camp and spent last season on injured reserve.

He aggravated the injury before training camp last July.

He also played some snaps on the scout team Wednesday.

"It felt weird out there at times but it felt pretty good," Joppru said.

Still, football in many respects is like riding a bike. You never forget what it's like. You just get a little rusty.

"I wasn't riding it too fast today," he said. "I was just trying to feel my way around and get used to things and not do anything stupid."

Capers was pleased with the duo's first day on the field but is not jumping to any conclusions about where they may fit into the Texans system.

"It's not easy just to step out here and pick up and be ready to be game ready," he said. "We'll use these three weeks to look and see where we are with the roster and then we'll make a decision."

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