Practice Insider - Thursday

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Jerome Mathis went to the hospital Thursday for more tests on his sore leg.

Running back Ahman Green, who has been sidelined with a bruised knee, returned to practice Thursday as the Texans prepared to host the Miami Dolphins.

Mathis hurting: Wide receiver Jerome Mathis has been sitting out of practice with a sore lower leg since the Texans' Week 3 game against the Colts. That soreness has gotten worse.

The three-year veteran went to the hospital Thursday for further testing because doctors have had trouble diagnosing the source of Mathis' pain.

"We were looking and looking and last night they asked him to go back and do some more and they did, and we know we have a problem right now that we're dealing with," head coach Gary Kubiak told the media after practice. "We'll let you know how severe the problem is here as quick as we can."

Mathis spent most of last season on the injured reserve list with a hurt foot. The wideout looked like he had regained his 2006 Pro Bowl form against Indy when he sprinted in an 84-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

"It's very disappointing because for the kid," Kubiak said. "He did everything we asked him to do. He worked extremely hard. He had a good camp. He was helping this team and then this starts again. We went through this last year and, basically, the kid missed the entire season last year."

Kubiak said he and Mathis would convene with Texans head trainer Kevin Bastin to discuss the next course of action.

"I feel bad for him because he couldn't go and we're having a hard time finding out why, and this team could really use him, Kubiak said. "He could help, but there's nothing you can do, if you're hurt, you're hurt."

Receiving roster spots: It's no secret that the Texans lack manpower in their receiving corps. And with Mathis likely to miss more of the season, Kubiak might need to make some roster moves.

"It's just obvious that we have an issue at wide receiver," Kubiak said. "We have three healthy wide receivers. If we're going to get a fourth one, we're going to have to pull somebody up or sign somebody."

The head coach has said he would prefer to pulling up practice squad wideouts Harry Williams or Devin Aromashodu and continue using his four tight ends in more receiving situations.

"We have to make that decision how we go play this game, just like I told you last week," Kubiak said. "Do we go play it with four tight (ends) and three wide (receivers) or do we sign a receiver? That's a decision we have to make. We have to keep going forward."

Zach attack: Middle linebacker Zach Thomas has been pounding running backs for 17 years in the NFL. The 38-year-old veteran suffered a concussion earlier this season, but he plans to make a return against Houston. With Thomas in the lineup, Kubiak expects to face a tougher Miami defense.

"I've gone against him ever since I was a college coach and he's a heck of a player," Kubiak said. "He studies tendencies; he's amazing on the field; he's like a computer out there and he's been doing it a long, long time. When he's out there, they're pretty dang good."

Miami's run defense ranks as one of the worst in the NFL, allowing 199 rushing yards a game. However, the return of Thomas and defensive tackle Keith Traylor means that the Texans will not have an easy time running the ball.

"They have struggled and like I've said, I think a lot of has to due with the fact that their leader is not in there," Kubiak said. "Zach has not been in there. They have a lot of pride. They've stopped a lot of people through the years, and I know the group that's going to show up this weekend is going to be foaming at the mouth."

Green's pain: Running back Ahman Green has been trying to recover from a deep knee bruise that has sidelined him for almost two weeks. The physical pain he has been enduring pales in comparison to the emotional pain the 10-year veteran is coping with now.

Tuesday night, Green's stepfather and the man who raised him, Edward Kenneth Scott, passed away at the age of 70. Scott had been living with Green since the end up August, receiving treatments at M.D. Anderson for a fast-spreading cancer that started in his liver.

Scott's health had deteriorated severely in last few days, and Green and his family had begun preparing themselves for the loss of a loved one.

"When they diagnosed him the first time, they told him three years at tops, so he outlived that, and it basically prepared me and my mom and my fiancée Marie for all this, because it's tough," Green said. "Regardless of if we knew it was coming, it's still tough to handle."

Green also said that he was finding peace from knowing that his father's suffering was over.

"When you see somebody you love like that go through basically pain every day, you kind of, you're like, let's get this over with because it's almost, it's torture watching him go through that," Green said.

Now, the 30-year-old running back is trying to trying to channel his emotions into inspiration. Green wants to play Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins in the memory of his father. Green knows Scott would want it that way.

"If he was here right now, he'd be like don't worry about him, play football. I know how he works," Green said. "And that's not being cliché; that's not saying what everybody else says when they lose a loved one; that's the truth, that's how my dad was."

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

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