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Through eight games, Houston rookie running back Steve Slaton was averaging 18.8 touches a game and ranked 15th in the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 719.
But in Sunday's loss to Baltimore, he was a non-factor with six touches for 24 yards. The Texans looked more to Ryan Moats and Ahman Green.
Coach Gary Kubiak said the reduced work for Slaton was by design.
"Well, he obviously didn't get all the reps that he has been getting as a starter for us," Kubiak said. "He was really worn down, to be honest with you. He struggled last week in practice, just sharpness, speed, those types of things. He didn't miss any time or anything but we just felt like we were going to do everything we could to split those reps up even more so, if anything a little less for Steve than Ahman or the other young man in Moats.
"So, I would hope that him not playing as many reps this week gets him back to full speed but the kid needed a break. He's played a lot of football in a short period of time. I expect him to bounce right back. So, that was the purpose behind that."
In the Oct. 5 home loss to Indianapolis, Slaton was a key piece of the offense with the second-biggest ground game of his first year -- 16 carries for 93 yards.
To pull an upset at Lucas Oil Stadium, odds are the Texans will need another effort like that.
But the Colts were giving up an average of 199.3 rushing yards per game when they went to Reliant Stadium in early October. They've since chopped 56 yards off that average and have held three of their last five opponents to 88 yards or fewer.