Ninkovich talks up Texans' athleticism

FOBXOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich was again on the practice field Wednesday, but was coy when meeting with reporters about the status of his hip, which was injured during a Week 17 win against Miami.

"I'm not going to get into it," he said. "I'm practicing and getting ready for this game."

Asked what his immediate reaction was at the time of the injury, Ninkovich replied, "That's in the past. I want to just move on from that. I'm focused in on Houston right now."

In taking on the Texans this Sunday, the Patriots' defensive line will need to be ready to face their zone blocking scheme, which has led the way to another successful season for running back Arian Foster.

Ninkovich discussed the challenges of facing the Texans' athletic line, regarded by many as one of the best in football.

"This team does a good job of all moving together, all the offensive linemen are athletic, and they can move," he said. "The challenge is for us as a D-line to play strong, be fast, and kind of reset the line of scrimmage. That's your job really, get those guys knocked back and not be running to the sideline."

Should Ninkovich play on Sunday, he'll likely see snaps against right tackle Derek Newton, who was absent in Week 14 due to injury.

"Good player," Ninkovich said of Newton. "Obviously we have to do a good job on him."