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Practice report: Green practices


The Texans have outgained their opponents on the ground in each of the last four games. They will face the league's second best rushing defense at Minnesota on Sunday and hope to have running back Ahman Green in the lineup.

Green gets reps: After sitting out for most of the week, running back Ahman Green returned to action on Friday. He took reps with the scout team, but his status still is uncertain for Sunday. Green will workout the morning before the game and be a game-time decision.

"I'll talk to him and see what I thought about his work today," coach Gary Kubiak said. "We're probably looking at a workout Sunday morning before the game to see if we think he can help us. But the other kids are ready to go. They've got all the work.

Green tweaked his groin and hamstring against the Bengals. He said the injury is not nearly as serious as the groin strain he suffered during the preseason.

{QUOTE}If Green is not available, rookie Steve Slaton will carry the load for the team. Slaton is averaging 4.6 yards per carry and ranks third among rookie running backs in combined rushing and receiving yards per game with 601. Backing up Slaton would be Cecil Sapp and Ryan Moats.

Salaam's friendly reminder: Kubiak will continue to rotate in left tackle Ephraim Salaam for Duane Brown every third series. The rotation proved effective for the Texans, especially when they were in short-yardage and goal-line situations.

In fact, Salaam likes to remind Kubiak how effective he has been, telling his coach that the Texans score everytime he goes in the game.

"Ephraim goes every third series," Kubiak said. "I never know how the reps are going to end up when it's all said and done, but Ephraim has been going every third series. And Ephraim reminds me we score every time he goes.

"I'm not sure he's right; I have to go back and look. He just reminds me of that."

Playing penalty-free: Through seven games, the Texans have been penalized just 23 times. That averages out to 3.3 penalties per game and puts Texans on pace for 53 penalties on the season. Houston has been penalized the second-fewest times in the NFL this season.

Now, the Texans will have to play clean on the road in a hostile environment. The Vikings' Metrodome is known for being one of the loudest stadiums in the league.

"It's a big game for our team," Kubiak. "We've had a very poor month and we've fought like heck to get ourselves back in position. Now, we have to go do it against a very good football team in their home stadium. So, we just have to play solid football and get ourselves in position to make that play to win a game."

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