Titans-Texans Friday injury report and preview thoughts

Courtesy of NFL.com, here are the official injury reports:
HOUSTON TEXANS
Out: TE Mark Bruener (hamstring), DT Travis Johnson (knee)
Doubtful: RB Ahman Green (knee)
Probable: OT Ephraim Salaam (knee)
TENNESSEE TITANS
Out: QB Vince Young (knee)
Questionable: LB Colin Allred (ankle), WR Justin Gage (groin), DE Jacob Ford (chest)
Probable: CB Nick Harper (ankle)
With the injury to Green, Steve Slaton is expected to start at running back for the Texans. For the Titans, I wouldn’t be surprised to see William Hayes get to play in his second NFL game, and Lavelle Hawkins make his regular season NFL debut.
I’m personally particularly interested in this game because it’ll be the first “home” game I’ve attended in person since this one two cities and three stadiums ago. Since then, I’ve seen the Titans in St. Louis, Indianapolis a couple times, Cincinnati, and most recently Green Bay, but never in a home game, so I figured it was time to check out LP Field. In terms of on the field action, though, here’s what I’m most interested in getting a good look at:
1. How the Titans defend WR Andre Johnson. The Sporting News gives Finnegan the edge in this matchup, but it won’t necessarily be much, if any, of a matchup-NFL teams simply don’t match their corners up like that very often. I expect to see a lot of Michael Griffin rolled Johnson’s way.
2. Texans RT Eric Winston. Texans fans, like these guys (nicer over email than on the blog), are very high on him. Is that legit? Will it matter with KVB on the other side and Haynesworth creating havoc in the middle?
3. Pass route combinations, and if anybody can get open. The Titans don’t have a go to receiver, and Gage, who’s the #! target, is doubtful.
4. Carries to somebody who hits the hole quickly, and not LenDale White. I feel like I could write a post in how long he takes to get to the hole.
5. LB Keith Bulluck. Profiled recently in the Tennesseean, he’s always a good guy to watch-lost at least half a step from c. 2004, but a good defensive player to watch on a given play.
6. The Titans tackle Texans KOR Andre Davis on kickoff returns. This worries me-the Titans have been poor at tackling kickoff returners so far this year, and weren’t very good at it last year either.
7. A Titans win. It’s more fun to be able to yell, scream, and cheer with people who want the same result you do, than in an opposing stadium. I’ve only had positive experiences in opposing stadiums, but it’s a different feeling when you’re 1 of 500 people cheering in a section instead of 3.

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