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Walter makes stellar return


Wide receiver Kevin Walter made a nice return from a hamstring injury against the Jaguars.

Kevin Walter made plays all over the field in his return from the injury list Sunday. Too bad the first question asked of him after the game was about an offensive pass interference penalty that cost the Texans a touchdown.

You could say Walter's mistake cost the Texans the game, but there were plenty of miscues to go around. Seconds later, Chris Brown fumbled one yard short of a touchdown and the Jacksonville Jaguars held on for a 31-24 victory, their first of the season.

"I've got to get slippery and get through there a little better," Walter said. "It's hard to score in this league and when you score and it's taken off the board, it's hard."

Walter caught seven passes for 96 yards, scored a touchdown and had had two key plays that helped set up Texans touchdowns. Still, there was that one boo-boo.

The Texans thought they'd tied the score at 31-30 with the extra point to follow when Matt Schaub hit tight end Joel Dreessen with a one-yard touchdown pass with 2:54 to play. But the flag came out and the touchdown came back.

{QUOTE}"It happens. There's traffic in there," Walter said. "You are going across and there are guys coming the other way, so I've got to avoid that better. I was real surprised, but it wasn't my call."

Walter missed the first two Texans games this season with a hamstring injury. He fit seamlessly back into the offensive scheme against the Jaguars. He caught four passes for 60 yards in the first half.

Walter showed little rust from the layoff.

He caught a 24-yard pass from Matt Schaub to set up the Texans' first touchdown. He caught a nine-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter that gave the Texans a 14-10 lead and he took a pitch from Schaub late in the second quarter on fourth down that set up another touchdown and a 21-17 halftime Texans' lead.

"When Kevin came back, he fit right in and he scored," wide receiver Jacoby Jones said. "I complemented him and Andre (Johnson). I helped them out. When André Davis gets back, we'll be even better."

Walter couldn't enjoy his comeback too much.

"We played good," he said. "We had a great week of practice coming into this game. It shows you've got to play 60 minutes. Tomorrow, we've got to come back and face these mistakes."

Walter wanted to be full speed when he returned from the hamstring injury.

"That's the best I've felt sine it happened," Walter said. "But I'm not happy the way I played. I can always get better. I was disappointed at what happened at the end. I've got to overcome that and play well next week."

The play where Walter took a pitch from Schaub is high percentage, according to Walter.

"I was real excited," he said. "It was like a third down run. We did that a few times last year on third down. It's a great play and the guys executed it. It's an easy first down as long as you get around that end."

When everyone is healthy, Walter is Schaub's No. 2 target after Pro Bowler Andre Johnson, who was happy to see his sidekick back in the lineup.

"The ball was spread around very well today," Johnson said. "If you look at it, we just didn't make enough plays. That's what I think about when I look at this game.

"He (Walter) was very excited to get out there. He went out there and played well for us today. Hopefully, we can keep that going throughout the season."

Walter was the leading receiver followed by Owen Daniels, who had five catches for 38 yards. Johnson had four catches for 86 yards.

Daniels liked the feel of having Walter back on the field.

"He's a big part of our offense," Daniels said. "It's good to have him back and making plays out there for us. I think that's why he missed the time he did. We wanted to bring him back when he was as close to 100 percent as possible so he wouldn't have any setbacks."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Michael A. Lutz worked for The Associated Press for 38 years covering news and sports in Louisville, Ky. Dallas and Houston. Most of that time was spent in Houston covering the Oilers, Astros, Texans and other college and pro sports.

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