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Practice report: Cushing, Cody deal with injuries


The Texans practiced outside at the Methodist Training Center on a sunny day in Houston on Thursday.

Three-headed monster?: Fantasy football owners won't like this news, but Texans coach Gary Kubiak reiterated his stance from a day earlier when asked about his plans at running back against Indianapolis.

"Like I said, I'm going to play them all," he said. "I'll make a decision as they get to the end of the week, but they're all going to play."

Ryan Moats came off the bench last week and ran for 126 yards and a team-record three touchdowns. Before that, he didn't have a carry since Week 4. Chris Brown had seven carries last week and has 43 on the season.

Steve Slaton has started 23 consecutive games for the Texans but has lost five fumbles this season, including one last week at Buffalo that sent him to the bench.

"At contact, he's got to get two hands on the ball," Kubiak said. "I understand what he's working through. He's got to get through a game where he's clean and then gets some confidence back from that standpoint. We're all behind him. We're all pushing him, but he's got to do his job."

Cushing, Cody down: Two former USC Trojans, rookie linebacker Brian Cushing and defensive tackle Shaun Cody, were limited by injuries on Thursday.

Cushing has been limited in practice for weeks because of a foot injury, so that came as no surprise. But Cody missed practice for the second consecutive day with a sore back.

"His back has been bothering him, so he missed yesterday," Kubiak said. "He had an injection today. I'm hoping he practices tomorrow and he's ready to go. We'll see."

Cody has started six games this season. He was inactive in Week 2 at Tennessee with a knee injury.

Impressed with Cushing: Kubiak said that he hopes Cushing will be able to resume daily practice after the Texans' bye week, which follows Sunday's game at Indianapolis.

"We're really trying to get him to this bye clean and get him a good two weeks there to rest his foot," Kubiak said. "I hope that he'll practice tomorrow and that it'll pick up after the bye."

Missing practice hasn't affected Cushing's production on gamedays. He leads all rookies with 66 tackles and has won the AFC Defensive Player of the Week award twice in the last three weeks.

"That makes practice overrated, doesn't it?" Kubiak said with a grin. "It just tells you how mature he is. He's shown some maturity, being able to play mentally very well even though he's missed time in practice."

Hill climbing: Rookie tight end Anthony Hill has yet to play in an NFL game, but he'll be the Texans' backup tight end behind Joel Dreessen on Sunday.

Hill has been inactive for all but one game this season, and he didn't see the field the one time he was active against the Titans in Week 2. A fourth-round draft pick who was an outstanding run blocker at North Carolina State, Hill figures to see the field plenty in two-tight end sets at Indy.

"He's had a good week," Kubiak said. "He's been fine. Of course, that place he's fixing to walk into (Lucas Oil Stadium) is a little bit different that any game he's ever been in. Hopefully, it will carry over to game day."

McNair chimes in: After watching practice on Thursday, Texans owner Bob McNair shared his excitement for the upcoming trip to face undefeated Indianapolis.

"I really think every game we're playing now is the biggest game we've ever played, because I think we've got something going," he said. "I think right now, we're playing extremely well, and the challenge is to keep playing well.

"That's within our control, so I'm excited. And I know it's a bigger challenge up there in Indianapolis, but I know that if our team plays well, we've got a very good chance to win that game."

Injury report: For the official injury report, click **here**.

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