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Houston Texans

Punter Shane Lechler hospitalized with flu

Shane Lechler and the Texans are set to face his old team on Sunday, but first he'll have to battle through a nasty case of the flu. Head coach Gary Kubiak said Thursday that the punter has spent the last couple days in the hospital because of the illness.

"He's doing better this afternoon," Kubiak said. "He will stay tonight and he's expected to be released tomorrow."

Lechler spent the first 13 years of his NFL career with Oakland, and earlier in the week spoke about playing against his former team. Despite the flu, Kubiak is fairly confident Lechler will punt on Sunday at noon.

"You may not see him here all week," Kubiak said. "He sent word to me today, 'Hey, I'll definitely be there to do my job.' I think he'll be OK."

So far in 2013, Lechler is averaging 48.7 yards per punt. He eclipsed the 50,000 yard mark for his career during Sunday's loss at Arizona.

If he were unable to punt, Kubiak said kicker Randy Bullock was capable of subbing in. Lechler is also the holder on extra points and field goals. Quarterback Matt Schaub would likely hold if Lechler is out versus the Raiders. ******

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