Texans notebook: Okoye (ankle) misses practice

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Defensive tackle Amobi Okoye did not practice Thursday after tweaking his ankle in practice on Wednesday.

"It's bothering him and it's still sore today, so I kept him out in a boot," Kubiak said. "He was not even over here. He's day-to-day right now."

If Okoye can't play against the Washington Redskins, rookie third-round pick Earl Mitchell would replace him in the starting lineup.

Defensive end Connor Barwin (ankle) and wide receiver André Davis (hip/tailbone) have had surgery for their respective season-ending injuries. Kubiak said that Barwin's surgery went well and that he should be out of the hospital by Friday morning.

In and out
Just like last Thursday, Kubiak brought the Texans inside the Methodist Training Center for the second half of practice.

"As long as we're having this heat that we're having right now, we get out and work there on Wednesday and we get a good hour on Thursday," Kubiak said. "From that point on, I want to get them as fresh as they can be toward Sunday."

Settling in
Newly-signed defensive ends Adewale Ogunleye and Ryan Denney practiced with the Texans for the second time on Thursday. Kubiak said that only one of them will likely be active on Sunday.

"We probably have to make a decision on which one we think can help us the most the weekend," Kubiak said. "We'll have to see, but they're really the same type of guy. I think Denney has caught up a little faster because he's been with Bill (Kollar) before. 'Wale, too, has run the same schemes. I think these guys will be able to help us, hopefully sooner than later."

Making strides
Quarterback Matt Leinart, who signed with the Texans on Sept. 7, is making steady progress in his understanding of the team's offense.

"I would say last week, if he would've played in the game, there was probably 30 percent that we'd ask him to take of our game plan," Kubiak said. "I think this week, he could take a good 50… He's getting more and more comfortable. His ability is showing up more and more each day in practice."

Close to home
Left tackle Duane Brown is expecting a big group of family members and friends at Sunday's game. Brown, who played at Virginia Tech, is from Richmond, Va., about a two-hour drive from FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

"I've got about 50 or so people coming out there," Brown said. "It'll be my first time playing close to home."

Quotable
"I know it's one of the biggest stadiums in the NFL. It's going to be a good place to play in and I'm looking forward to it, but the field is still a hundred yards and it's 11-on-11 no matter where."
- LB DeMeco Ryans, on playing in a hostile environment at FedEx Field

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