Practice report: Dunta looking good

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After spending almost a year recovering from serious knee and hamstring injuries, Dunta Robinson returned to practice Wednesday. The coaches plan to decide Thursday night whether the cornerback will play on Sunday against the Lions.

Robinson looking good: Dunta Robinson was all smiles Wednesday as he got ready in the locker room for his first practice since he tore his knee and hamstring last November.

"I think a lot of the coaches and my teammates are more excited than I am," Robinson said. "That's a great feeling. This is the first time I think I've ever been this excited to go to football practice."

The team's star cornerback said he didn't expect to be 100 percent right away, but he felt pretty close.

"If I had to give a percentage, I'd say somewhere in the 90s, probably low to middle 90s," Robinson said. "I feel good. It's been long overdue. I feel like I could have started practice a long time ago, so I'm feeling good."

{QUOTE}And he looked good in practice, according to coach Gary Kubiak, who said Robinson will play Sunday against Detroit as long as he doesn't experience any setbacks this week.

"He's still got his feet," Kubiak said. "He can still cover. Today just watching him matchup on people, he looked very, very good. I know one thing, he can help us on the field regardless of where that is."

The coach worked Robinson primarily in nickel packages, which is how the Texans would like to use him on Sunday.

"I think what we have to do is probably either say we are going to play him in nickel or play him in base, but he is only going to play 15 to 18 plays," Kubiak said. "We've got to strictly put a play count on him and bring him along like he's starting the preseason."

Kubiak doesn't want the corner playing more than 20 plays in his first game back. Robinson's reps also were monitored in practice.

"It's difficult from the standpoint of being smart," Kubiak said. "From the standpoint of the team needing Dunta, it's a very easy decision. But we're trying to do exactly right by him. All indications are right now that he's ready to do something. I just keep my fingers crossed."

Wednesday evening after team meetings, Robinson said his body felt fine and that the hardest thing for him to get back will be his conditioning level.

"It was good," Robinson said. "It went well. My knee felt a lot better as practice went on. By the end of practice it felt normal. I was just excited about getting back out there and being able to run around."

Wrinkle in the game plan: The Texans will be game planning for a Detroit Lions team that has changed significantly since last week.

The Lions traded their Pro Bowl wide receiver Roy Williams to the Dallas Cowboys for first, third and sixth round draft picks in 2009.

"Nobody gives up a first and a third but for a guy like that," Lions coach Rod Marinelli said. "That's why I think it's a win-win for both sides. Roy's a dynamite football player. All of you will see that when he's down in Dallas. It hurts you, no doubt about it, but if there was one area that we had some depth and strength, I thought it was the receiving core."

The trade came as good news to the Texans secondary.

"I'm so glad to see Roy in a different jersey," Robinson said. "I was like, 'Man, if I play this week, I've got two great receivers to face.' That isn't the type of atmosphere that you want to face coming off of a knee injury."

Now, the defense will focus on shutting down Calvin Johnson, a first-round pick in 2007.

"We know that Johnson is going to be their guy," safety Will Demps said. "So now we know to kind of target him and take him out of his game and make sure that the other guys have to beat us."

Detroit also will be playing with a new quarterback after putting Jon Kitna or injured reserve this week. The Texans will face Dan Orlovsky, who started last week for Kitna and threw for 150 yards and a touchdown against the Vikings.

"We'll try to throw a lot of different looks at him, just try to get to him," Robinson said. "That's the main thing. A young quarterback, you want to pressure the guy as much as you can, hit him as much as you can. That's what we'll try to do."

Injury notes: Safety Dominique Barber sat out Wednesday with a hamstring injury. Running Ahman Green was limited with a foot injury.

For the official injury report, click here.

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