Practice Insider - Friday

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Game captains: Head coach Gary Kubiak named tight end Owen Daniels, defensive end Anthony Weaver and defensive tackle Earl Cochran as the game captains for Sunday's T-N-T Rivalry matchup with the Tennessee Titans at Reliant Stadium.

'Dre can't play – yet: Kubiak announced that wide receiver Andre Johnson will not be able to play this week, formalizing what already was more or less a foregone conclusion. The team had been hopeful Johnson's sprained left knee would heal in time for the game, but it still lacks the strength that would allow Johnson to play without risking far greater injury.

"Andre's not going to play this week, y'all know that," Kubiak said. "But he is making progress. He ran a lot today, did some cutting, so he's taken a step forward this week."

Given his progress, the Texans hope Johnson can return to the field soon. In the meantime, quarterback Matt Schaub will continue to rely on the solid play of receivers Kevin Walter, André Davis, David Anderson and a healthy Jacoby Jones.

Studdard out: On Monday, Kubiak said that it was time for guard Kasey Studdard to become a more integral part of the team. The rookie from the University of Texas has played in only one game this season, as a reserve against the Falcons.

Unfortunately, Studdard suffered a groin injury during practice Wednesday. The fiery competitor insisted he would be ready for the Titans game, but Kubiak ruled him out on Friday and said he would stick with his regular offensive line rotation.

"I had planned on suiting eight (offensive linemen)," Kubiak said. "I had planned on suiting Studdard, but he's going to be out for a little while, don't know how long. So as of right now we'll suit our seven and do what we've normally been doing."

The injury couldn't have been less timely for the sixth-round draft pick, who earlier this week described himself as "geeked up" to see the field on Sunday.

"That's frustrating, but that's what the game is," Studdard said. "It's a physical game. You've just got to go out there and, you know, stuff happens. But I'll be fine. I'm a battler."

Green feeling good:As the Texans continue to try to solve their running game woes, running backs Ahman Green and Ron Dayne will team up in the backfield for the first since Green's knee injury in Week 3. Dayne and Samkon Gado had carried the load together in Green's stead, and Gado played while Dayne was inactive last week in Green's return at Jacksonville.

Green refused to give a percentage on his health earlier this week, but seems to be nearing 100 percent with each day.

"I think Ahman's taking steps forward," Kubiak said. "We tried to be smart in how we practiced him early in the week, but it looks like his legs are slowly coming back. Him getting better every week is a big factor for our football team, so hopefully he can continue to step forward."

If he can, it can only mean good things for a Texans running attack currently averaging 81.7 yards per game.

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

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