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Practice report: Monday


The Texans' starters will go through a week of light practices as the coaches focus on evaluating younger players and veteran backups before the make roster cuts this week.

Williams recovering from surgery: Wide receiver Harry Williams is recovering in a Dallas hospital after undergoing a lengthy surgery to fuse together his cervical spine. Initial reports indicate that Williams eventually will walk again, but doctors think it is unlikely that he ever will return to football.

To read more about Williams' recovery, click **here**.

Cuts are coming: The Texans plan to wait until the league deadline Tuesday afternoon to announce their first round of cuts. One player has already been released, fullback Jameel Cook.

That means the team must trim the roster by four spots to get down to the 75-player limit. Most likely, cornerback Dunta Robinson will go to the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, which does not count against the active roster.

{QUOTE}The toughest personnel decisions will be made after Thursday's game against Tampa Bay when the Texans have to trim the roster to 53 players. Coach Gary Kubiak wants to see what he has in his young players, so the starters probably might only play a series in the game, if even that.

"I think, naturally, we are going to see a lot of young players play," Kubiak said. "We'll make the decision as far as exactly how we are going to do that probably sometime Wednesday afternoon. Obviously, you are going to see a bunch of faces you haven't seen much of."

Count rookies Xavier Adibi, a linebacker who has missed time this preseason with a sore Achilles, and Frank Okam to be among those faces.

"Big Frank, he's got size and he's got athletic ability," defensive coordinator Richard Smith said. "This will be a big determination for him this week. He got to play last week against Dallas. I thought he played a little better in some areas, but some areas not. But he will get plenty of reps this week to be able to evaluate him.

"He's a big man; he's the biggest man on our football team. He's got size. He does have good feet. His quickness can improve a little bit, but once again, he does weigh 347 pounds. His determination will be on this week also."

NFL injury outbreak: There has been a rash of season-ending injuries going around league this preseason. Over the weekend, New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora and Oakland Raiders receiver Drew Carter and fullback Oren O'Neal all suffered knee injuries that will sideline them for the rest of the year. San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman said he has tears in both the posterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments could suffer a possible career-ending injury if he attempts to play without having surgery.

"That's part of the NFL," Kubiak said. "Everybody's got people nicked up. Everybody's trying to get to opening day with what they think is a healthy football team and go from there. I've got to worry about our problems and see where we're going to be here in the next 10 to 12 days and get ready to go to Pittsburgh."

The Texans have placed four players on injured reserve: Williams, guard Fred Weary, guard Dan Stevenson and cornerback Jimmy Williams. It's just a matter of time before Robinson goes on PUP. Plus, left tackle Ephraim Salaam and running backs Ahman Green and Chris Brown have been sidelined for most of the preseason with no definite return date.

The good news is that the team has much more depth this year than ever before, and Green could be back in the starting lineup as early as the first regular season game against the Steelers.

"I think our team has improved throughout this training camp, but every season is a new season," Kubiak said. "We'll go see where we're at. We open up with a tremendous opponent on the road, and every week is going to be a big-time challenge. We're going to take it one week at a time and find out."

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