Practice report: Walter eyes return

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The Texans practiced with crowd noise for the second consecutive day as they continued to prepare for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Kickoff for Battle Red Day presented by Halliburton is at noon CT on Sunday.

Walter eyes return:Wide receiver Kevin Walter missed the first two games with a hamstring injury, but he hopes to play on Sunday against the Jaguars. The Texans' No. 2 receiver, who set career highs with 899 yards and eight touchdowns in 2008, was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday and Thursday.

"Today was the best day I felt since I got hurt, going out there and flying around and finishing practice," Walter said. "Yesterday was the first time I finished a complete practice since I hurt myself, and I was pretty pumped up about that. It felt good out there today, too."

Walter injured his hamstring in the Aug. 31 preseason game against the Vikings. Before this season, he had never missed a game due to injury in five years in the league.

"I'm anxious," he said. "I've been on the sideline for the past two weeks watching these go out there and fight and make plays, and I just want to go out there and do the same thing."

Walter had a setback last week after practicing on Wednesday, but he said he hasn't had any setbacks this week and is "ready to roll and looking forward to getting out there."

Feeling for Pitts:Guard Chester Pitts has started all 114 games in Texans history, a streak that will come to an end this Sunday. Pitts suffered a knee injury in Week 2 and had season-ending surgery on Wednesday. He will be replaced by Kasey Studdard in the starting lineup.

Pitts, 30, is one of six NFL offensive linemen to have started every game since 2002. He was voted an alternate to the Pro Bowl after last season.

"It's very hard," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "Here's a guy that's been out there every week for this organization. His streak that he had going was unbelievable. It's at a point in his career, I think we all understand, he's on a contract year. You hate to see that happen to anybody.

{QUOTE}"But the good news is Chester is going to be fine. They were able to get it fixed and do it the right way. He'll be back next year. He's got a lot of good football left in him and he's going to be OK. I know we're all down for him, and we need to step it up a notch to replace him on the left."

General manager Rick Smith also was optimistic about the results of Pitts' surgery.

"The surgery was a successful one in the sense that is the right thing and the best thing for him long-term," Smith said. "I think he's proven that he's got good DNA and good genes, and I'm pretty confident Chester is going to come off of this and have more productive football in his future."

Along came Pollard:After the Texans placed Pitts on injured reserve, they filled his roster spot by signing free agent safety Bernard Pollard (link TO ONE ON ONE VIDEO).

Pollard, a second-round draft pick in 2006, played under Texans defensive backs coach David Gibbs in Kansas City for the first three years of his career. He led the Chiefs with 98 tackles in 2008.

"David is familiar with him from Kansas City, so we just need to take a look and we'll see where we're at," Kubiak said.

In Pollard's last two seasons in Kansas City, the Chiefs won only six games. Pollard practiced with the Texans on Thursday and was* *impressed by the team's intensity.

"This is insane," he said. "To see these guys go out here and practice like this, they're going to bring in a lot of wins this season. I want to do so much to contribute to this team and help them win. It's going to be a fun, fun opportunity."

Bringing the noise:The Texans practiced with simulated crowd noise last week to prepare for a hostile environment at Tennessee. Kubiak has decided to continue to use crowd noise at practice this week, despite the fact that the Texans are playing at home.

"I'm going to keep doing it," Kubiak said. "I think our team, because of a lot of young players, lacks communication in some critical times in games, and I think (the crowd noise) is making us better.

"I think it's making us be louder on the field, talk more on the field. I see myself doing this for a long, long time. I just think it's giving the players a little more confidence in what they're doing and handling a tough situation. Home or away, I think we'll keep doing it."

Injury report:For the official injury report, click here.

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