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Practice report: Ravens high on Slaton


Linebacker Zac Diles, who leads the Texans with 66 tackles this year, snapped his left tibia during special teams practice today. The second-year pro immediately was rushed to the hospital and is expected to miss the rest of the season. To read more, click **here**.

Nall re-joins team: On Tuesday, the Texans signed quarterback Craig Nall, who spent three weeks with the team last season, to back up Sage Rosenfels.

The coaches worked out quarterbacks Tim Rattay and Bruce Gradkowski, but they liked that the 29-year-old Nall is familiar with Houston's system.

"What we needed was we needed somebody who could come in and have some idea of what we are doing, some guy who has been around the game in tough situations from a standpoint of being with great quarterbacks and working with them," coach Gary Kubiak said.

"He's been with Brett Favre. He's a tough-minded guy. Sage needs help, just in preparation and support, and we thought he would be the best fit. He came out there today and operated as if he didn't leave last year, so we're encouraged by that."

With quarterback Matt Schaub out for possibly four games with an injured medial collateral ligament, the Texans needed a veteran quarterback in the wings when Rosenfels starts against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

Nall was drafted by Green Bay in 2002 and stayed with the Packers for four seasons before signing with Buffalo as a free agent. Last season, the sixth-year pro spent time with the Bills, Texans and Packers.

To make room for Nall on the roster, the Texans waived defensive end N.D. Kalu.

"I think a lot of N.D. and have a lot of respect for him, not only as a player but as a person," Kubiak said. "He's done a good job with our young players. We just got into a situation where we started playing some young guys. They responded, played well. So, there hasn't been many opportunities for him. It's not like he did anything wrong. We were heavy at D-line and with that issue, having to sign a quarterback, we had to go someplace."

Rosenfels seen as a starter: The Texans don't feel as if there is any drop off when it comes to Rosenfels, who was 4-1 as a starter last season.

"You consider him a starter that comes in behind another starter," center Chris Myers said. "We look at it as if we have two starters on our team. We're pretty lucky for that. Not many team can say that, that they have two great starting quarterbacks to be able to get the win anytime."

In fact, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh agreed with that assessment.

"We think Sage Rosenfels is a starting quarterback in the NFL," Harbaugh said. "He's proven that. We think people in Houston feel that way. We think people all around the league feel that way. So, we don't think there's any drop-off at all."

To read more about Rosenfels, click **here**.

Green getting closer: Running back Ahman Green was limited in practice on Wednesday, but he said he was getting closer to returning to action and looks forward to playing a Ravens' defense that ranks second in the league.

"It gets a little bit better everyday," Green said. "I just know I've got to try to be out there and want to be out there. So far, it's going good. So, I'm excited about that because this is going to be an aggressive defense we're going to play against on Sunday."

Green was inactive against the Vikings, forcing Steve Slaton to play for over 60 snaps and carry the load by himself. Against the second-best run defense in the league, Slaton finished with 16 carries for 62 yards.

He knows his task this Sunday will be even more challenging. The Ravens' defense ranks first against the run, allowing 64.2 yards per game.

"You just have to take what they give you," Slaton said. "They don't really give up to much, but you have to keep pressing and rely on the run game."

Slaton drew high praise from Harbough, who said the rookie has been playing "lights out" this season.

"He's a homerun threat," Harbough said of Slaton. "Every time he touches the ball, you worry about taking it the distances. Whether it's one of those zone runs they run where he's a one-cut guy and he hits it, or it's a screen or a swing pass out of the backfield. He's kind of the total package and he's scary."

Allen's hits under view: The NFL has created a rule specifically designed to stop players from diving at a quarterback's knees: "No defensive player who has an unrestricted path to the quarterback may hit him flagrantly in the area of the knee(s) or below when approaching in any direction."

The Texans believe that Vikings defensive end Jared Allen violated that rule three times last Sunday, causing Schaub to injure his MCL. The Texans have sent the plays to the league office for review.

"Obviously, it's illegal to go low on the quarterback and we have three plays that we're going to turn into the league and we'll wait to hear back," Kubiak said on his radio show on SportsRadio 610.

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