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Houston Texans

Practice report: Williams surprises team


Running back Darius Walker was signed from the practice squad on Thursday.

To prepare for Hurricane Ike, the Texans held two practices on Thursday and cancelled all team activities for Friday. As of Thursday afternoon, there was no official word on the status of Sunday's game against the Ravens at Reliant Stadium. There was a silver lining to the day: a visit from Harry Williams.

Williams surprises team: Wide receiver Harry Williams surprised his teammates Thursday and took his first steps on a Texans' field since suffering a life-threatening neck injury in August.

"It's really good to see him out here," coach Gary Kubiak said. "I've been talking to him quite a bit and sounds great on the phone but looks even better in person. It's good to see him out.

"I know one thing, the guys that are out here and they're hot and sweating, a little bit feeling sorry for themselves - it kind of makes you stop and think how lucky you are. We are down. We had a rough week last week. Trying to bounce back from that and looking at a guy like that, that would love to be out here with them, it kind of puts it in perspective."

{QUOTE}Williams had spoken with many of his teammates on the phone but had not seen them since he was carted off the field at Texas Stadium and taken to Dallas Presbyterian Hospital. Applause broke out when Williams walked toward the huddle and the players surrounded him as he led the team in a cheer.

"It brought a lot of memories back and to see these guys again and give them a little motivation for Sunday's game, if we play Sunday," Williams said.

"They were like, 'Man, we didn't even expect you to be walking.' Some of them were saying, 'Man, you're a miracle. It just happened like two weeks ago and you come out here walking.' Some people were like, 'You just lost weight; you aren't buff like you used to be. I was like, 'Hey I got to get back on those weights. When I get back on those weights I'm going to come holler at you.'"

So far, Williams has not suffered any neurological setbacks. He walked gingerly and wore a neck brace, but that won't stop him from attending the Texans' upcoming game and continuing with his life.

"You are still sad about the situation that you can't play football anymore, but at the same time you just have to look at the brighter part of life," Williams said. "You have to really think about what life is about. It's about God, family and helping other people. You know, I'm walking. When I was down there in Dallas, I couldn't walk. When I was down there on the field when the play happened, I couldn't walk; I couldn't feel anything. That was scary. I thought I was going to be paralyzed from the neck down. I'm happy to be walking. That's a big part of life to walk around be able to do the things you want to do."

Walker signed, Slaton to start: Running back Ahman Green missed his second practice of the week with a sprained ankle and will be listed as day-to-day going into the team's game against the Ravens. Kubiak said that playing Green probably would be a game-time decision.

To ensure that the Texans have three running backs on their active roster for the game, the team signed second-year pro Darius Walker from the practice squad. Meanwhile, rookie Steve Slaton got read for his first NFL start.

To read more, click **here**.

Texans monitoring Ike: As of Thursday afternoon, the Texans had not released an official statement on the plans for Sunday's Liberty White home opener against the Ravens. Kubiak said the team was preparing as if the game would proceed as scheduled with a 3:15 p.m. kickoff.

"We are just approaching it like we are going to play," Kubiak said. "I think we are like anybody else, concerned about this thing and how it's going to be. But we haven't been told otherwise so we are preparing as if we are going to play."

The coach did schedule a second practice for Thursday so that the players could use Friday to get ready for Hurricane Ike.

Tight end Owen Daniels has never experienced a hurricane, but he said he has a good idea of what to expect because he studied meteorology in college.

"I have never been in one before," Daniels said. "I'm interested to see what it might be like. I know it's going to be bad if it comes through. I'm smart enough to know that since I have a little background in meteorology. The way it looks right now, we're on the bad side of things, the wrong side of the storm. I don't know if some of the other guys realize how bad it might get."

Guard Chester Pitts, who was with the Texans when Hurricane Rita hit Houston, said that he has learned how to remain focused despite such imminent distractions.

"Well, the thing is you prepare like it's not going to hit or you hope for the best," Pitts said. That's what you prepare for. But then, by the same token, you just know if it does hit, you run, duck and hide until it's gone and then you go play the game. You have to be kind of focused all the time and be somewhat resilient minded to be a football player because there are always things going on, and at the end of the day you have to do your job." will continue to provide updates of the team's hurricane plans.

Injury update: Defensive tackle Travis Johnson did sat out of practice Thursday with knee and ankle injuries. If Johnson can't play against the Ravens, Jeff Zgonina will start in his place.

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

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