Linebacker DeMeco Ryans leads the NFL in 10-tackle games over the last two seasons.
Head coach Gary Kubiak liked what he saw from his team Friday in their final practice before heading to Tennessee to take on the Titans.
Pitts apologizes: Head coach Gary Kubiak talked to the media after practice about the arrest of offensive lineman Chester Pitts. The guard was arrested Thursday on charges that he fled in his car after police stopped him for making an illegal turn, authorities have said.
"I'm disappointed in the situation," Kubiak said. "It's a distraction, and we don't need distractions. I visited with Chester, (general manager) Rick (Smith) and I are still in the process of gathering all the information, but Chester's got a job to do for this football team and myself. His teammates are expecting him to step up and play good football this weekend."
The incident is very uncharacteristic of the offensive lineman, who has never had an incident with the law and has been actively involved in local community projects.
"His father's a police officer," Texans owner Bob McNair said. "He has all the respect in the world for the law, and I think he misunderstood some of the directions that might've been given to him. But he's sorry that it happened and we'll just have to go ahead and let the facts come out and see it resolved. I'm sorry that it happened, but Chester has never caused us a moment of trouble. He's always just lived a very good life and been a good example for everyone. He feels terrible about it and he's apologized."
Pitts apologized to the Houston Police Department and his team. He will travel with the Texans and start in Sunday's game against Tennessee.
Green inactive: Running back Ahman Green went through a week of demanding practices, but the Pro Bowler will not be active Sunday against the Titans. A lingering knee injury will sideline Green for his sixth game of the season.
"Ahman has made a lot of progress and the progress that he's made gives us hope for the last month, but Ahman will be down," Kubiak said. "He will not play this week."
Green got extensive reps on the scout team. His knee held up for the most part, and that means the rusher will not find himself on the injured reserve list.
"He came back this morning, the knee did not swell," Kubiak said. "He felt good, he took more reps today. We'll see how he is. He's not ready to play this weekend, but what he did the last two days was a big step forward."
Ron Dayne will get his third consecutive start. Dayne has helped bolster the Texans' rushing game, averaging just under five yards per carry over the last three games.
Tough D ahead: The Texans will face one of the toughest defenses in the league Sunday when they travel to Tennessee. The Titans are ranked fifth in the league in defense, allowing an average of 292.1 yards per game.
The Titans' run defense did weaken considerably when defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was sidelined for three games with a strained right hamstring. Before the tackle was injured, the Titans allowed only 90 yards rushing per game. With the tackle out of the lineup, they allowed 160 yards on the ground.
Haynesworth is questionable to play against the Texans. If he does play, Pitts and guard Fred Weary will have to double team Haynesworth, making sure the six-year veteran does not collapse on quarterback Matt Schaub.
Must win: In the back of their minds, the Texans know this is a must-win game if they want to say in the wild-card hunt. The players don't necessarily feel that pressure. They are simply hungry for a win over their AFC South rival.
"It's a division game," Weary said. "For us to do anything in this league, we have to win divisional games. Instead of talking about playoffs, that's the point we need to start making and the point to do is win division games. We play them twice a year and there's no reason why we shouldn't win those games."
The Titans are hungry themselves, entering Week 13 on a three-game losing streak to bring their record to 6-5. It's the team's longest losing streak since starting the 2006 season 0-5.
A large part of the problem has been that quarterback Vince Young has struggled with his passing game. This season, the Houston native has thrown five touchdowns to 13 interceptions and possesses a quarterback rating of 65.3, which is the second-lowest rating among quarterbacks in the AFC.
"They've been throwing the ball and that's not what the Titans do," linebacker Danny Clark said. "They're a good running team and I'm sure they're going to get back to running the football this week. Something our defense has to do a better job of doing is stopping that run."
Injury report: For the Texans' official injury report, click here.