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Practice report: Rookies to get more snaps


Linebacker Xavier Adibi recorded a tackle for a loss last Sunday.

The Texans' rookies should see more playing time on defense against the Colts on Sunday. Rookie linebacker Xavier Adibi could start for Morlon Greenwood on the weak side.

Bigger role for Adibi: Rookie Xavier Adibi saw his playing time surge last Sunday against the Ravens with fellow linebacker Zac Diles sidelined for the season with a broken leg.

Adibi could be thrust into a starting role this week if weakside linebacker Morlon Greenwood does not play because of an ankle injury. Greenwood sat out of practice this week and will be a game-time decision.

"It's a concern when you lose a guy like Morlon and then, of course, Zac, who was playing as good as any player we have on the football team," coach Gary Kubiak said. "So you go from feeling pretty good about the group to getting real thin real quick, and we're trying to rest DeMeco (Ryans), also. So it's made for some practice problems, but not yet big-time game problems."

That's because Kevin Bentley answered the bell at the strongside position, recording a sack and seven tackles against Baltimore.

{QUOTE}Now, the Texans will need Adibi to follow suit.

"I'm sure he makes some mistakes," Kubiak said of Adibi. "He's a young player. But I bet he makes some plays, too. He's been very fast out here. He's been flashing as a player. This game is funny. Sometimes these rookies, you know, they struggle and struggle and struggle and all of the sudden the light goes on. It sure looks like it's trying to go on for him, so we're expecting to see some good things out of him."

Barber, Slaton will get more snaps: Rookie safety Dominique Barber is listed fourth on the Texans' depth chart behind Nick Ferguson, Eugene Wilson and Brandon Harrison. Because Barber plays special teams well, he has edged seven-year pro Will Demps out of the lineup on game days. Kubiak plans to give Barber even more of a chance to contribute against Indy.

Rookie cornerback Antwaun Molden also should see more action.

"You're going see Barber play," Kubiak said. "You're going to see Molden get some snaps on the field. So, everybody is going to have to contribute."

Injury notes: Defensive tackle Amobi Okoye (ankle) and Greenwood (fibula) missed a third consecutive practice on Friday. The Texans will evaluate them the morning before the game.

"Amobi did a little more today, but we still held him and Morlon," Kubiak said. "We'll go work them out before the game and see, but as of today, it didn't look very good for either of them."

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