André Davis could start opposite Kevin Walter at the wide receiver spot.
The Houston Texans got back to work Wednesday, practicing with two new players, wide receiver David Anderson and tight end Joel Dreessen.
Gotta run: Running back Ahman Green sat out of practice with a sore knee and will be listed as day-to-day for the rest of the week. Head coach Gary Kubiak said Green's injury won't stop the team from running the ball in Sunday's game against Atlanta.
"We got totally away from it last week with the way the game went and the situation we were in," Kubiak said. "But for our football team to be successful, we've to got to come out of the game running the ball 30-35 times, and we proved that against Kansas City and Carolina."
The Texans will have more fuel running in their tank this week with the return of back Ron Dayne who had been sidelined with bruised ribs. The Texans will look for Dayne to pound the ball through a Falcon defense that has struggled against the run.
A healthy Dayne is looking forward to carrying the Texans' rushing load.
"Whenever they put me in and give me the ball, I'm going to keep running," Dayne said. "I'm not going to stop and worry about what's going on off the field; I'm trying to get us down the field to score. As long as I'm in there, I'm going to keep going hard."
The 3 R's: Kubiak learned last Sunday that his Reserve Receivers are Ready. Against the Colts, André Davis, who had been inactive in the first two regular-season games, made a 41-yard catch to set up a one-yard Samkon Gado touchdown. That play could earn him starting duties in Atlanta.
"André Davis could start for us," Kubiak said. "We'll see how he and Jerome (Mathis) do throughout the week. I was so impressed with how he (Davis) played in the game and I think he's going to step up and play well."
It helps that quarterback Matt Schaub feels comfortable throwing Davis the ball.
"I feel like he can definitely step in there," Schaub said. "He's a veteran in this league and he's played a lot of football, so we're confident that he can go in there and he knows what he's doing and he's going to be in the right spot and he can make those catches."
Mathis, for his part, took his turn impressing the Texans' coaches with an 84-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the opening play of the game. The speedy return specialist also has been gaining more confidence at the receiver spot where he has been filling in for Jacoby Jones and Andre Johnson who are out with injuries.
"The more and more reps you get, the more and more chances you get to go out there and do it, then it kind of becomes first hand," Mathis said.
Matt's homecoming: Schaub will be returning to his first NFL home this weekend. His former Falcons team, however, does not look very familiar. Their new coach Bobby Petrino is calling plays for new Atlanta quarterback Joey Harrington.
Still, the media has been hounding Schaub about how it will feel to suit up against his old team and what it was like playing under famed Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick. The ever-composed Schaub is remaining tight-lipped on all of the above.
"I'm not going to let you know about that; I'll keep that inside," Schaub said. "But it'll be special to go back and play against those guys and see those guys because we spent a lot of time together, but at the same time, it's another football game. We have to approach it that way and go out and do what we need to do to get a win."
To read more about Schaub's return to Atlanta, click here for a feature by Jim Carley.
Special teams decisions: Kubiak will use this week of practice to determine who will start at punt returner in place of Jacoby Jones.
"I haven't decided, but it will be Dexter (Wynn) or (Jamar) Fletcher," Kubiak said. "It will be one of the two, and that could depend on how we end up with our numbers – who is up and who is down."
The head coach did decide that wide receiver David Anderson will contribute on special teams. Anderson had been released by the Texans before the regular season, but resigned with the team Monday after Cedric Killings and Steve McKinney went on the injured reserve list.
Injury Report: For the Texans official injury report, please click here.