HOUSTON -- David Carr made it through his first practice in
10 days since spraining his right ankle at Indianapolis, and said
Wednesday he expects to start at Cincinnati this weekend.
Carr split first-team drills with veteran Tony Banks, who
stepped in to lead the Texans to a 14-10 upset of visiting Carolina
on Sunday, and did not appear to favor his heavily taped ankle
during the two-hour practice session or afterward.
"He did fine with the things we asked him to do," coach Dom
Capers said. "He took a limited number of snaps, but I thought he
did well with the snaps that he took."
The real test will be how Carr feels later this week, Capers
said, although he remains on pace to start for the Texans (3-5).
"We'll probably increase his load a little (Thursday) and
hopefully increase it a little more on Friday," Capers said.
The only scenario Carr could imagine that would prevent him from
starting would be re-injuring the ankle during practice this week.
"But I don't see that happening," he said. "We've got it
taped up pretty well. If we can prevent anything from setting it
back I think I'll be OK."
Carr, last year's No. 1 overall draft choice, took every snap
for Houston as a rookie and started the franchise's first 23 games
until Banks led the Texans to victory last weekend.
In seven games, Carr has completed 60 percent of his passes for
six touchdowns and eight interceptions. He is averaging 212 yards
per game, a number that would be slightly higher if he hadn't
gotten knocked out of the Colts game in the first quarter.
Ironically for Carr, he suffered his first significant injury as
a professional on a sack in a season where his protection has been
above-average compared to his peers. He has taken 11 sacks in seven
games this season and was on pace for 43; last season he was dumped
a record 76 times.
Carr said the last few days he has practiced dropping back to
pass, which places strain on his tender right ankle, and reported
it keeps feeling better day by day. He came out of Wednesday's
workout without new soreness.
"I went out there and did what I wanted to do without too much
pain," Carr said. "I want to make sure I feel good, and today I
felt pretty good."
Four other starters were on Houston's injury report. Defensive
end Gary Walker was listed as doubtful as he continues to rest an
inflamed big toe on his right foot, and right outside linebacker
Charlie Clemons also missed practice and could miss his third
straight game with a left ankle injury.
Cornerback Marcus Coleman (strained neck) and running back
Domanick Davis (sore chest) are expected to make their starts.
Reserve running back Stacey Mack also is listed as probable with a
sore right knee.