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Practice Insider - Friday


Quarterback Matt Schaub took all of the snaps Friday, preparing to return to the starting lineup.

Former U.S. President George Bush Sr. visited the Texans' practice field Friday, huddling with the team and delivering words of encouragement before Houston hosts the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Both teams will be battling for a fifth win to put them at the .500 mark.

Green out: Swelling in Ahman Green's knee will keep the running back from dressing against the Saints. Green took limited reps Thursday, which aggravated the sore knee he has been nursing since Week 3.

"He will be down," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "He has not responded here over the course of the last couple of weeks to the rest we have given him. He came out and did a little bit yesterday, as I told you, and his knee did not respond."

With Green sidelined, rusher Ron Dayne will assume starting duties and Adimchinobi Echemandu will serve as a backup. Kubiak is considering bringing up running back Darius Walker from the practice squad.

Kubiak said he will probably dress five wide receivers to give the offense additional options.

Mario vs. Brees: Everyone has been talking about the Mario Williams and Reggie Bush storyline. Who has more to prove? Who will play like the No. 1 draft pick? One game may not answer those questions, but it will set up a more exciting matchup: Williams against quarterback Drew Brees.

The Pro Bowler leads a high-powered Saints' offense. In the last five games, he has thrown 13 touchdown passes and only three interceptions and his 2,447 passing yards ranks fifth in the league.

Stats that Williams has duly noted.

"A couple of weeks ago, I think he threw for 400 and some yards," Williams said. "Like I said, when he's hot, he's hot. He really leads that team passing that ball. We have to go out and stop the run and then we have to try to disrupt him so he's not putting up 400 yards."

The defensive end, who has notched four sacks this season, acknowledged that he will have to raise the level of his game Sunday and be better at getting to the quarterback.

"I have to get better at getting actual sacks, not just getting back there," Williams said. "I don't look at it as a number or a letter or whatever. I just know at the end of the year, that's what's going to have to matter, so pretty much, I have to crank it up."

'Dre's time: Wideout Andre Johnson will make his return to the starting lineup Sunday for the first time since spraining his left knee in Week 2. The five-year veteran has been anxious all week to line up across the ball from a relatively week Saints secondary.

The Saints rank near the bottom of the league in pass defense with right cornerback Jason David being the weakest link in the backfield. Johnson could get a chance to pick on David, especially with long-yardage plays.

"I'm excited, just excited to be back out on the field playing with my teammates," Johnson said.

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

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