Brian Cushing comes off PUP list

HOUSTON -- The Texans had some familiar faces back on Wednesday morning.

Inside linebacker Brian Cushing returned to the active roster off the physically unable to perform list. Running back Arian Foster and wide receiver Andre Johnson also returned to practice after missing two weeks due to hamstring injuries.

The Texans' Wednesday practice is the first of two joint practices with the Atlanta Falcons.

Cushing suffered a broken leg and torn LCL in October and finished the 2013 season on injured reserve. Cushing, who is widely considered to be the heart of the team's defense, has finished the past two seasons on IR. He suffered a torn ACL in 2012.

He called his return Wednesday a small step, and he thinks he has something to prove about what he can do.

"I'm a competitive guy. I want to come out here, I want to prove I can help the team and do a real good job," Cushing said. "That's important to me, that's something I focus on a lot."

Cushing did individual drills and participated in parts of practice that were just with the Texans on Wednesday. He sat out the team drills against the visiting Falcons. Coach Bill O'Brien said Sunday that Cushing likely would not play in Saturday's home preseason opener.

"I think when you don't feel right, you don't want to push," Cushing said. "Especially when you've gone through it before. You know what it feels like when it's not right. ... You know when you're ready and when you're not."