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Practice report: Walter looking big-time


Wide receiver Kevin Walter has eight touchdowns to go with 851 receiving yards this season. More than just a fantasy football goldmine, Walter has become a big-time offensive threat.

Walter looking big-time: Wide receiver Kevin Walter quietly is putting up big-time numbers this season. He is tied for first in the AFC with eight receiving touchdowns and he has 55 catches for 851 yards.

Walter has 10 more receiving yards than Patriots receiver Randy Moss, three more than Dallas' Terrell Owens.

"We knew Kevin was a fine football player last year," coach Gary Kubiak said. "His numbers are going to end up being bigger this year and that's a credit to his work, and probably the attention Andre (Johnson) gets and the way we run the ball has a lot to do with that.

"But Kevin's been a fine player, and as I said the other day, I think the key thing is there's another level for him. I think he's going to only get better."

{QUOTE}With defenses often double-covering Johnson, Walter has become a threat in the slot and on deep routes. In fact, Walter has caught 11 passes of 25 yards or longer this season, fifth-most in the NFL.

"We're trying to get that cloud corner off of (Johnson)," Walter said. "If those guys are going to put single coverage on Owen (Daniels), myself or any other guys, we've got to take advantage of that and get them out of there so Andre can get that single coverage."

Walter's production has opened things up for Johnson, who leads the AFC with 1,201 receiving yards this season. The two have combined for 2,052 receiving yards, which is second-most in the NFL behind Arizona's duo of Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin.

'Dre surprised by offense: The Texans' offense has averaged a league-leading 422.7 yards per game over the last three weeks. Houston ranks third in the NFL in total offense with 381.5 yards per game.

Against Green Bay, the Texans put up a franchise-record 529 yards. All that ball movement shocked Johnson, the Texans' most potent offensive threat.

"At one point in the game, I did look up at the scoreboard, and at the point I saw it, I think we had 490-some yards," Johnson said. "I was sitting there and I was like, 'Whoa.' When you're playing, you're not thinking about that stuff. You're just out there playing, trying to do everything you can to help the team win.

"That happening just shows what we can do and what we can be if we can go out and be consistent and play good football like we know how to."

Nading a pleasant surprise: Rookie defensive end Jesse Nading has come a long way since he was called up from the practice squad on Nov. 19.

An undrafted rookie out of Colorado State, Nading lined up on a key third down in the red zone on *Monday Night Football *and helped to keep the Jaguars from reaching the end zone on the possession.

Against the Packers, Nading lined up in four-man fronts and dropped into pass protection.

"We do a lot of things with him," Kubiak said. "He's a very sharp kid. We knew that coming in. We really didn't know what we were going to do with him. Were we going to play him at linebacker? Were we going to play him at defensive end? He's been able to hold his weight.

"Being the size he is gives him an opportunity to roam around and do those types of things and spy on quarterbacks. It's something he can use to his advantage with his career."

Nading will be a game-time decision on Sunday with a knee injury.

Injury notes: Nading (knee) and defensive end Anthony Weaver were limited in practice on Thursday. Guard Chester Pitts (ankle) also practiced.

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

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