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Practice Insider: Friday


Wide receiver Jacoby Jones, wide receiver Andre Johnson, guard Chester Pitts and linebacker DeMeco Ryans smile with five happy children and their new bikes.

The Texans held their final practice of the week inside the Methodist Training Center on Friday with artificial crowd noise to simulate the game atmosphere of the Colts' RCA Dome. After practice, the team donated 170 new bicycles to local children at the second annual Houston Texans Holiday Bike Give-Away.

Schaub likely third: Head coach Gary Kubiak said he has not reached a final decision on the game status of quarterback Matt Schaub, but that he will make one on Sunday.

"My gut right now tells me I'm going to make him the third guy and I won't play him unless it'd be totally necessary," Kubiak said.

If so, quarterback Shane Boyd would back up Sage Rosenfels for the third consecutive week.

Schaub practiced Friday with a shoulder harness that he would wear in the game if he were to play. Kubiak said he will review film of practice before making his final decision and that he would like to at least suit Schaub against the Colts.

"My biggest concern is if he plays, can he protect himself?" Kubiak said. "That's the number one thing, and just watching him in practice around the piles and the guys rushing the passer, I didn't see that he's ready to quite do that. So I don't want to put him in harm's way right now, but I think he's awful close."

Walker to start again:Rookie running back Darius Walker will start for the second consecutive week. Kubiak remains hopeful that Ron Dayne, who has started seven games this season, will be able to play despite a lingering ankle injury.

"It looks like Ronnie's going to be ready to go," Kubiak said. "He practiced a little bit today, but I'll make him work out for me Sunday morning and I'll either suit two or else I'll suit Joe (Adimchinobi Echemandu) also. But the two will be Darius and Ronnie."

Red zone 'd' critical: Earlier in the week, Kubiak told Rosenfels he'll have to play the game of his life for the Texans to win on Sunday. He echoed that sentiment on Friday about the task before his defense against the Colts' high-powered offense.

"We're playing … arguably the best QB in the game along with Tom Brady, so we'll have to play great defense," Kubiak said. "Usually, the key against this group is how well you play in the red zone. They're going to move the ball. They're going to make plays.

"But if you can find some ways to shut them down in the red zone and make them kick some field goals, it can help you, so hopefully we play great red zone defense."

Texans give away bikes: Before the players headed to the locker room at the conclusion of practice, the entire team gathered outside of the Methodist Training Facility for the second annual Houston Texans Holiday Bike Give-Away.

The team gave out 170 bicycles to children from four local service groups: S.H.A.P.E. Community Center, the Boys & Girls Clubs, the YMCA and Families Under Social Attack. The players bought the bikes at Academy Sports & Outdoors using money from the team's "turnover pot" that had been building throughout the season.

As offensive coordinator in Denver, Kubiak came up with the idea several years ago with his offensive players. The idea grew, and the entire team got involved when Kubiak came to Houston.

The system requires that when a player commits a turnover, he puts money into the pot. If a player doesn't turn the ball over, Kubiak puts money in. The team uses whatever money is in the pot to buy bikes for local kids during the holiday season.

"I just think it's great," Kubiak said of the event. "We've raised the money from turnovers and what ends up happening is either the money comes from them or comes from me. Needless to say, they bought a lot of bikes this year, and too many. I'd rather be the one buying them."

The players were ecstatic to participate.

"This is just a way for us to take some kids deserving of a nice Christmas and for us as players to get something like a bicycle for them," Texans kicker Kris Brown said. "Every kid wants a bicycle for Christmas, so for us to be able to do this and be able to put these smiles on these kids' faces, this is what it's all about."

Pro Bowl linebacker DeMeco Ryans agreed.

"All the guys pitched in money, put a little money in the pot together just to come out and be able to buy the kids bikes," he said. "It was a great deal last year. It's just fan, man, just to see these kids' faces when they see the bikes and they're all excited about it. It's very special.

"Everybody always wants that new bike for Christmas, so it's very special to have. They got their bikes early, so they already have their Christmas presents. We're just blessed to be in a position to be able to do this."

Injury report:For the Texans' official injury report, **click here**.

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