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Saturday, October 4, 2008
Texans ready to return home

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans are set to play at home for the first time, 31 days since the start of the NFL regular season.

Their original home opener, Sept. 14, was erased by Hurricane Ike.

Their three road games to start the season left them at 0-3, and they are underdogs against the Colts tomorrow. But they remain a rallying point for a city that has endured a lot.

Now, they'll play at home with the damaged roof of Reliant Stadium open. It is the first of four home games for the Texans.

"To be back home, to be in front of your home crowd, get that true home field advantage, we're definitely looking forward to it," linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. "I talked to the guys about it. We need some wins to make everyone sort of feel good. When football is on, it kind of takes your mind away from what's going on with the hurricane and everything. It gives people kind of a vacation, a getaway. Just get back to football -- it's a sense of getting back to normalcy.

"So, with that, with us being the home town team, and for us to go out and play ball on Sundays and win games, it's going to make everybody around town feel a lot better."

Commissioner Roger Goodell will attend the game and I'll have an update following his pregame talk. I'll then bring you my insights from the Colts-Texans game. I'm looking forward to it, and I'll hopefully get a postgame post from Pappadeaux in front of Steelers-Jaguars on my hotel television.