Practice report: Okoye still battling

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The Texans look to continue their three-game winning streak on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. To do so, they will need to play big upfront with the Titans boasting the third-best rushing game in the league.

Okoye still battling: Defensive tackle Amobi Okoye didn't take the second-year leap he had anticipated this season. The Texans 10th overall selection in the 2007 NFL draft recorded 5.5 sacks and 32 tackles last year. This season, he has been slowed by a high ankle sprain.

"He's been playing hurt for us the last few weeks," coach Gary Kubiak said. "We missed some time with him. He's been getting better. He can play better than he's been playing, and I think he will as we finish this season. But just getting him back in some of the things we're doing, I think, has helped us out."

{QUOTE}Okoye has registered 16 tackles and no sacks through Week 13. His presence helps to keep offensive linemen from double teaming defensive end Mario Williams, but Kubiak had hoped that Okoye would have become more of a pass-rushing threat.

"I think we would have all liked to have seen him take a bigger step forward in year two, but you can't do anything about a high ankle sprain," Kubiak said. "And there's still a lot of football left here to play. We're expecting him to be a big part of us playing better these last three weeks."

The Texans will need Okoye to play big with Titans boasting the third-best rushing game in the NFL. Although Okoye is known as more of a pass-rushing defensive tackle, he will have to use his quickness to help contain running back Chris Johnson and his strength to help stop LenDale White.

Schaub looking even better: Quarterback Matt Schaub returned to the lineup last Sunday at Green Bay after missing four games to pass for a team-record 414 yards as Houston's offense compiled a franchise record 549 yards.

The scary thing is that Schaub has looked even better this week in practice.

"He's practiced well," Kubiak said. "He showed a little rust last week in practice as we went into the game, which you would have expected (with him) being out for so long, but he's obviously looked better this week. So just continuing to get reps should help him."

Injury notes: The Texans look very healthy heading into Sunday's game against the Titans. Guard Chester Pitts (ankle) and defensive end Jesse Nading both practiced.

For the official injury report, click here.

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