Safety Michael Boulware took more reps today with starter C.C. Brown sitting out with a sore shoulder. Brown is expected to be healthy by Sunday.
Green touch-and-go: Running back Ahman Green got his first reps of the week at the beginning of Thursday's practice before heading to the stationary bike.
"It's just touch-and-go," said head coach Gary Kubiak. "There's nothing different. He did just a little bit today, which was our plan – individuals - just a few reps."
Green, who has been nursing a sore knee since Week 3, is hoping to start against the Saints. The team will determine the Pro Bowler's playing status after Friday's practice.
"We'll know more tomorrow," Kubiak said. "I know it's frustrating for you all and everybody, but that's the way we're going to treat him. If he works tomorrow and feels good and says he can go, then he'll be ready to go."
If Green looks like he can power through a game, Kubiak might suit an additiona; offensive lineman and one less wideout or running back.
Rashad Butler has been seeing time as a reserve tackle. Chris White has been the back up center and guard. Kubiak would like to work in rookie guard Kasey Studdard, but the head coach won't activate an eighth lineman if he's too concerned Green.
"Ahman's status going into Sunday will have a lot to do with whether we suit five wides, eight linemen" Kubiak said. "That will always be the case."
'Dre looking good: Wideout Andre Johnson may not be 100 percent, but he's ready to go against the Saints. And his team couldn't be more excited.
"Our guys respect him so much and they count on him," Kubiak said. "They count on him to make some big plays in the game, and that adds juice to your football team. His presence out here, he's a worker. I've told you that from day one. This guy works as hard as any football player I've been around and it tends to filter throughout the rest of the football team."
The five-year veteran also has been rebuilding his off-field chemistry with quarterback Matt Schaub. The two placed a bet last week that whoever lost in the battle of their alma maters (Virginia vs. Miami) would have to wear the opposing college's athletic clothes.
With Schaub's Cavaliers defeating the Johnson's Hurricanes, the receiver has been wearing UVA colors all week.
"It's very bothersome," Johnson son said. "I don't feel comfortable in it. I hate coming in here putting this on every morning. Every time I walk in the cafeteria, every morning all the guys are like, 'Hey man, how long do you have to wear it?' And I tell them a week every day, and they're going to ask me the same question over and over."
Schaub, who has been loaning the clothes to his teammate, feels differently.
"He looks fabulous," Schaub said. "Orange and blue looks good on him."
Davis in rotation: With Johnson's return, wide receiver André Davis will become the number three receiver. Davis, who was not active for the first two games of the season, proved himself as a starter. He possesses the best per-catch average in the NFL with 19.2 yards.
"What André has done is he's done something for his career," Kubiak said. "He got an opportunity to play here these past four or five weeks. He's put up some numbers that are very good in this league. Basically, it tells you if you're a football team, you have to find a place for him or somebody else will because he's shown that he can play."
Davis will rotate in for Johnson, especially for long-distance plays.
"Andre Johnson is not fixing to go from no plays to 80 plays," Kubiak said. "We can't do that so we'll have to be smart. André will play. André Davis will play."
Clark's round two: For the second game in a row, starting linebacker Danny Clark will face a former team. The eight-year veteran started 31 games in Oakland and led the team in tackles both seasons (2004-2005). Last year, in New Orleans he saw action primarily on special teams.
"I knew Danny when he was in Oakland," Kubiak said. "He played extremely well there. He's been a good player in this league. He's been an excellent special teams player, so we just felt very fortunate and he came in here and earned a starting job with us. This will be two games in a row I've been teasing him that he was playing his old team. Sometimes when you're getting old like that, you've got a lot of old teams out there."
For the Texans, Clark has emerged as a veteran leader for a defensive front seven that starts one rookie and two second-year players. And because Clark played with Bush last season, those front seven are being especially attentive this week.
"At the end of the day he's going to do what he does best, and that's to lead his team and know that his receivers are going to be in the right place," Clark said. "Reggie Bush is a special guy and they get him involved as well. At the end of the day, we've just got to go and play the way we're capable of playing, and that's being where we're supposed to be, being accountable, and in the run game, we stop the run and react to the pass."
Clark would like to react with some hard hits to show his old team what they're missing.
"It's going to be a good deal when you can go and actually hit the backs and hit the quarterback," Clark said. "That's the fun part."
Injury Report: For the Texans official injury report, please click here.