Defensive tackle Amobi Okoye will look to add to his four career sacks on Sunday.
Wide receiver Jacoby Jones and running back Ahman Green both practiced at full speed Thursday as the Texans prepared to play in Jacksonville on Sunday.
Jones returns: Wide receiver Jacoby Jones had been easing into practice, careful not to re-injure the shoulder he separated in Week 3 against the Colts. Thursday, the rookie did not hold back on the practice field, showing he's close to rejoining the lineup.
"We wouldn't put him out there unless he's ready to play," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "You're going to get hit on special teams just like you're going to get hit on offense. If you're playing, you've got to be ready to play, and it sure looks like he's going to be OK."
Kubiak said if Jones continues to feel stronger he would return punts against the Jaguars. Cornerback Dexter Wynn, who had been handling both duties, would continue to return kickoffs. The head coach also said that Wynn was posting solid return numbers, but Jones possessed a play-making ability that can light up a scoreboard.
"The difference with Jacoby, a guy like him, is he can change the game because he can go to the house," Kubiak said.
The Texans just hope that Jones will be ready to take it to the end zone on Sunday.
Offensive arsenal: The return of Jones and running back Ahman Green means the Texans are replenishing their offensive arsenal.
With the team averaging just 85.8 rushing yards a game and 3.2 yards per carry, the Texans need their star rusher more than ever.
"To me, the biggest one is Ahman. To have him back and his ability back in the backfield is a big plus for our team," Kubiak said.
The passing game, on the other hand, has been thriving with wideouts André Davis and Kevin Walter stepping up to make big catches and tight end Owen Daniels averaging 82.5 receiving yards over the last two games.
"From a receiver standpoint, I can't sit here and tell y'all enough how well those kids have played," Kubiak said. "Even though Jacoby's back, those kids have been playing and doing a heck of a job; they're going to be hard to get off that field right now, and he's found that out and I think it's helped him come back a little faster."
Jags' firepower: The Jaguars have an offensive weapon of their own in second-year running back Maurice Jones-Drew. Drew looked like he had returned to his notorious rookie form against Kansas City last week, breaking out for 82 yards on nine carries along with his first touchdown of 2007.
Stuffing Drew will be on the top of the Texans' to do list on Sunday.
"We're looking forward to the matchup," defensive tackle Amobi Okoye said. "We've been pretty good at stopping the run the past couple of weeks; we've just got to make a few changes and adjustments to how we did it last week, and I think we should be fine."
Okoye, who has registered four sacks this season, will also focus on bringing down quarterback David Garrard.
"The goal is to keep him in there and try to get him down before he throws the ball," Okoye said. "But he's a real mobile guy and they also have things, plays designed for him to move around so we're just going to keep an eye on that and adjust as it goes."
Ryans limited: Middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans was limited in practice today. The two-year veteran rolled his ankle against the Miami and fought through the game.
"At halftime, they tried to help him out and re-tape him and do some things; he battled through it," Kubiak said. "DeMeco would practice if I let him.
"He's a little hobbled so we pulled him out, we didn't want him any contact, but I expect him to take everything tomorrow and be ready to go."
If Ryans' ankle is still hurting him, then linebacker Danny Clark could move to the middle or rookie Zac Diles could step into the starting role.
"If we ever had a big-time issue, if we didn't think DeMeco was ready to play, then Zac Diles is the guy that can do that," Kubiak said. "But if it gets down to suiting five linebackers, you've got to do what you can do. So if we're suiting five, then Danny would take DeMeco's place."
Injury Report: For the Texans official injury report, please click here.