Practice report: Ocho Cinco loves Texans WRs

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The Texans will face the Bengals on Sunday without wide receiver/kick returner André Davis, who underwent surgery on a dislocated finger. Luckily for Houston, they have a stable of talented wideouts. Just ask the Bengals' Chad Ocho Cinco.

Davis out with finger injury: Wide receiver André Davis could be out for the next three weeks after undergoing a surgical procedure that required a pin to be placed in the ring finger on his left hand.

"He can't play with the pin in, because it's actually sticking out of the skin," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "When it comes out and we go back to the tape job that we did before, he should be ready to go. But I think the key is, 'When does the pin come out?' And I really couldn't tell you. I'm being told three weeks at the most."

Davis, also the Texans' kickoff returner, had been playing with a dislocated finger since the preseason. It finally got so bad that he had to undergo surgery on Monday.

With Davis out of the lineup, David Anderson will become the third receiver and Jacoby Jones will see more action on offense.

"What happens is that Jacoby goes back to work full-time right now," Kubiak said. "So he's in the rotation. In three wides, David will come and play inside, but Jacoby will know all of the spots."

As for kick returns, Davis' replacement has yet to be decided. Rookie running back Steve Slaton is listed next on the depth chart, but the coaches are trying to limit his touches on special teams since he's the starting running back. That leaves Jones, who returned kickoffs at Lane College, or running back Ryan Moats.

"We're looking at a few guys back there," Kubiak said. "Of course, I told you that Slaton could do it. Jacoby can go back there. Moats, a kid on our practice squad, has the ability to do it. We're just going to take a look and watch them this week and let (special teams coordinator) Joe (Marciano) make a decision."

This season, Davis has seven catches for 123 yards and averages 22.2 yards on 26 kickoff returns.

Mucho kudos from Ocho Cinco: Bengals wideout Chad Ocho Cinco has a lot of respect for the Texans' starting receivers, Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter, and he's not afraid to express it.

{QUOTE}Ocho Cinco and Johnson grew up in Miami and have trained together there in the offseason for the last 10 years. Despite Ocho Cinco's flamboyant demeanor and Johnson's soft-spoken nature, the two have long been good friends.

"That's my boy right there," Ocho Cinco said. "I love 'Dre to death. We've been friends for a long time. We're always together in the offseason.

"We're always together, and I'm always making jokes about football. I'm always talking trash, but it's unfortunate this year that it's not going the way – not just for myself, but for us as a team – the way I want it to. Usually, going against guys like this and being able to play against everybody from Miami, it becomes fun. But we're 0-7 right now, and that excitement is really not there."

Still, Ocho Cinco is excited about the numbers Johnson has been putting up this month. In his last three games, Johnson has caught 30 passes for 450 yards and two touchdowns. He leads the league with an average of 104.8 receiving yards a game.

"That's what you expect out of somebody like that, someone who is really a consistent Pro Bowler year in and year out," Ocho Cinco said. "Maybe he doesn't make it year in and year out, but he's a Pro Bowl type of receiver. He can't be stopped. He's big. He's fast. So it's like you just pick your poison. At some point, he's going to beat you, regardless of what you try to do.""

Ocho Cinco also praised his former teammate Walter, calling him one of the hardest working receivers in the NFL. Walter played in Cincinnati for three years before signing with Houston.

"Kev's got some of the most unbelievable teaching from one of the greatest receiving coaches, to me, that I've had a chance to deal with, and that was Hugh Jackson when he was here," Ocho Cinco said. "Not only that, he was able to pick some of the things that T.J. (Houshmandzadeh) and I learned from one of our closest trainers as far as when it comes to playing receiver and running routes.

"And really, taking the skills that Kev learned here with the toughness and all of the pizzazz he already has as a receiver, it's no surprise he would be the starter on any team he was on opposite of whoever the number one is."

As for Ocho Cinco's numbers, they have been down this year. The five-time Pro Bowler, who recorded 93 receptions for 1,440 yards last season, has just 27 catches for 268 yards so far in 2008. Ocho Cinco clamored to be traded by the Bengals during the offseason, but his slow start has forced him to watch his words.

"I'm trying to do everything I can to get out of this slump right now," he said. "I've been as positive as possible with the situation that we're in, despite what I said in the offseason. It was just more opinionated, that's all. I was really frustrated about the losing, and to start this year 0-7, you can only imagine how I'm feeling. But instead of taking a negative approach to it, I'm thinking of all of the things that I can do to help us get out of this situation."

Better than 0-7: The Bengals may be winless this season, but the Texans think they are better than their 0-7 record. Cincy lost by three points to the reigning Super Bowl Champion New York Giants and by a touchdown to the Baltimore Ravens. Plus, the Bengals have faced the top four defenses in the league in Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Tennessee and New York.

"If you look at any of their games, they're in a lot of those games in the fourth quarter and one play here, one play there and they win those games," quarterback Matt Schaub said. "They're a tough bunch that can make a lot of plays."

The biggest playmakers are Ocho Cinco and Houshmandzadeh, two explosive Pro Bowl receivers who could present matchup problems for the Texans' defense.

"They could easily probably be .500 right now," right tackle Eric Winston said. "We have to view them that way. You got a look at a team that has Chad Johnson (Ocho Cinco), T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Carson Palmer - I know he's not playing, but (Ryan) Fitzpatrick is a more than capable backup. They have a lot of talented guys on their team. They can put up a lot of points. So, we have to go in with the mindset that we're going to have to put up some decent numbers to beat this team."

Injury Notes: Defensive end Mario Williams was limited in practice with a sore shoulder.

For the official injury report, click here.

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