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Practice report: Monday


The Texans added depth to their backfield Monday by signing running back Marcel Shipp, who practiced with the team after inking the deal. To read more about Shipp, click **here**.

Weary far from healthy: The Texans made room on their roster for Shipp by placing guard Fred Weary on injured reserve. Weary, an original member of the team since 2002, broke the tibia in his right leg on Dec. 2 against Tennessee and has struggled to recover from the injury.

"He's been a warrior for this organization and he's done a great job for this football team for me since I've been here the last couple of years," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "We were all hoping that by this time he would be in a position to compete. He hasn't been able to. It's a very difficult injury. We'll do everything we can to get him healthy. No doubt in my mind that Fred will be back. It's just going to take some time."

Weary had been suffering from inflation and pain caused by the screws inserted in his right leg. The screws were removed, but Weary still has a long way to go before he is healthy.

"We thought these screws could hold up, the way I understood it, and he could play a year with that and then get them taken out after the season," Kubiak said. "But, it was obvious that wasn't going to happen. So the best thing right now is for Fred - they got the screws out – to get him healthy."

The Texans will evaluate Weary's progress over the next few weeks before making a decision about his place on the roster. Weary started 12 games last season, and Kubiak believes the right guard's pro career is far from over.

"I expect Fred to play in this league for a long time," Kubiak said. "I know he'll do what he has to do to get himself well. But in fairness to him, he's got to get healthy to play the way he's capable of playing. And I sure hope it's for us, but Fred will play in the National Football League for somebody, no doubt in my mind."

Kubiak encouraged by Green: Ahman Green will sit out the last two preseason games with a pulled hamstring. Kubiak, however, is encouraged by the running back's commitment to returning for the regular season.

"I think he's doing well," Kubiak said. "I saw him running with (assistant strength coach) Ray (Wright) today. He has the strength, but he's not going to play this week and there's a darn good chance he doesn't play next week. So, we are trying to push him towards opening day and we'll see how we get there."

{QUOTE}Green has assured the head coach that he will be healthy soon, which wasn't the case last year when the Pro Bowler didn't think his knee would hold up for the season.

"He tells me, 'Hey, listen, I'm fine. I'm going to be fine,'" Kubiak said. "Last year, it wasn't like that. I think he knew that he had a problem that he couldn't get cleaned up in a short period of time."

Kubiak's disappointment stems from seeing how effective Green was during training camp.

"We went two and a half weeks with him not missing a practice and him being the guy, and then all of sudden he's out for a period of time here," Kubiak said.

"It's disappointing. I don't know if I want to say I'm frustrated because I sit here and watch him work and watch how good of an offseason and training camp he had."

Slaton heads committee: The Texans will use a running back-by-committee approach with Green out for the remainder of the preseason.

"We aren't just going to go back to one guy," Kubiak said. "We are going to work them all. We are going to see how it pans out amongst all of them. We may end up playing with two or three of those guys, by committee so-to-speak, if Ahman is not ready to go."

Heading that committee right now is rookie back Steve Slaton, who led the team in rushing with 13 carries for 57 yards against the Saints.

"He's got a lot of self confidence right now," Kubiak said of Slaton. "I think he's starting to feel like, 'Hey, I can do this. I know I can contribute.' You can tell, the other night and you can watch him practice today.

"I don't think you can ever know how far a rookie can go, but this one shows no sign of us needing to let up on him. So, we are going to push him."

Slaton has started getting reps with the first team and has been doing a better job of reading the team's zone scheme and putting up blocks in pass protection.

"I've spent some time trying to work on what the coaches have been telling me about like the blitzes and everything," Slaton said. "I think I'm doing a lot better."

Johnson report: As of today, wide receiver Andre Johnson will take the field at Texas Stadium on Friday. Johnson was going through a full practice on Monday until rain forced the team to move inside and workout out on the turf.

"We are going to count on him playing in the game," Kubiak said. "I think I said yesterday, he will have to be 110% for me to put him out there. All systems were go today - when we came in here on the turf, we pulled him out."

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