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Practice report: Slaton not feeling snubbed


Running back Steve Slaton is leading the AFC in total yards from scrimmage with 132.5 and he has rushed for 100-plus yards in three consecutive games. The rookie isn't going to Hawaii in February, but he's not bitter.

Slaton not feeling snubbed: Steve Slaton was named a Pro Bowl alternate to starter Thomas Jones (New York Jets) and backups Chris Johnson (Tennessee Titans) and Ronnie Brown (Miami Dolphins). But many believe Slaton should be going to Hawaii.

There is little dispute that Jones and Johnson belong there. The Jets' running back leads the AFC in rushing with 263 carries for 1,222 yards and 13 touchdowns. Johnson is second with 235 carries for 1,1,59 yards and eight touchdowns.

Third among AFC running backs is Slaton with 230 carries for 1,124 yards and eight touchdowns.

Where is Brown? He sits at 10th with 195 carries for 827 yards and 10 touchdowns. Why is he going to Hawaii: the Wildcat. Fans, players and coaches were enamored this season with the single-wing formation that flourished with Brown getting the direct snap.

{QUOTE}Slaton has a better per-carry average (4.9 to 4.2) and reception total (40 to 24) than Brown. Plus, Slaton has rushed for 579 yards in the past five games, four of which the Texans won.

But the rookie isn't bitter.

"It's disappointing," Slaton said. "But at the beginning, I didn't think I'd be even mentioned for it. So it's just a positive just to be an alternate."

The Texans just feel lucky to have drafted a Pro Bowl-caliber rookie in the third round.

"To get a kid (Slaton) like that in the third round that has carried the load like he has and look toward the future at what type of player he can become - it's panning out as one heck of a draft with Duane (Brown) and what he's done," coach Gary Kubiak said.

Texans sign cornerback: The Texans placed rookie cornerback Antwaun Molden on injured reserve this week after he fractured his ankle in Sunday's game against Tennessee.

They added depth at cornerback by signing David Pittman (5-11, 195), a third-year pro who went to Northwestern State and played for the Baltimore Ravens in 2007. Cornerback A.J. Davis, who was selected by the Lions in the fourth round of the 2007 draft, was added to the practice squad.

The Texans also released quarterback Craig Nall, who had signed with the team after Matt Schaub injured his knee on Nov 2.

That cleared a spot on the active roster for wide receiver Darnell Jenkins. The coaches have been impressed with Jenkins, an undrafted free agent out of Miami.

"I'd like to see him here before the year is out," Kubiak said. "I think he's got a chance to be a fine football player and an excellent special teams player."

Respecting Nnamdi Asomugha: Kevin Walter and Andre Johnson each said this season that Oakland's Nnamdi Asomugha is the toughest cornerback to go against in the league.

"He's a great player," Johnson said. "He's finally gotten into the Pro Bowl. He's a guy I voted for. I thought he really deserved it and it's going to be a big challenge for me."

Asomugha most likely will go one-on-one against Johnson. That usually spells disaster for an opposing defense, but Asomugha has the speed to cover and the toughness to hit hard.

"They do things that give us problems," Kubiak said. "They are excellent against the pass."

The Raiders rank ninth against the pass, giving up just 195.1 yards per game. That is why the Texans aren't overlooking a team that is 3-11 this season.

"Every Sunday is going to be tough," Walter said. "These guys, they have some fantastic players on their team. They've been struggling all season. We can't go out there and take them lightly. They're going to be out there fighting just as hard as we're going to be fighting. So, we have to go out there and play our game and execute and we should be fine."

Johnson, who lined up at multiple positions against the Titans, said he won't have an easy time getting separation in this game.

"You just try to make the best of your opportunities," Johnson said. "That's the way I look at it. You're going to get attention when you go out and you do what you're supposed to do on the football field. Other than that, the opportunities I get on Sundays, I just try to make the best of them."

Injury notes: Guard Chester Pitts (ankle) and linebacker Xavier Adibi (groin) did not practice

"Chester should be fine and ready to play," Kubiak said. "Actually, we believe now that maybe Xavier will have a chance, so that's a little bit different than I felt yesterday. He's day to day."

For the official injury report, click **here**.

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