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Monday, May 21, 2012
On Andre Johnson's knee, longevity

By Paul Kuharsky

Andre Johnson's bad 2011 was even worse than we thought.

Johnson missed nine games because of two different hamstring injuries.

Andre Johnson
Andre Johnson was limited to just seven games last season and hasn't played all 16 since 2009.
He told Houston media today he also hurt his left knee Nov. 27 in a win at Jacksonville. That injury required a recent scope that he pledged was not a big deal.
"Nothing to panic about," Johnson said per Mark Berman of Fox in Houston. "I had it two weeks ago…

"I hyperextended my (left) knee. It swoll up. Got the swelling to calm down. I came back during offseason workouts, it swoll up again. We felt like the best thing to do was get it scoped, get it fixed…"

"I'm two weeks out from having a knee scope. I wasn't in any pain before I had it. It just kept holding fluid on it. I'm not in any pain now. My knee feels better, the swelling has pretty much gone down. Just keep doing rehab and (I'll) be ready for training camp.

"This is my tenth season. I've been through OTAs several times. I don't really feel like I'm missing anything right now."

He’s not missing anything right now. And quarterback Matt Schaub, recovering from a serious foot injury, isn’t on the field either.

In a broader sense, though, I think it’s fair to wonder if 2011 served as some sort of harbinger for Johnson.

He still ranks as one of the very best receivers in the league. But he’ll be 31 in July and going into his 10th season.

Will he face other situations this fall that make us consider if he’s starting to break down?

Or will he rebound to show three different injuries in his ninth season amounted to a blip?

A lot of elite receivers play very effectively well into their 30s. I’m expecting the rebound. But there is simply no predicting health or the timetable for when a guy reliant on his legs begins to slow.

Leaving out other guys who are still active, Pro-Football-Rreference.com says Johnson’s résumé so far is similar to receivers who averaged careers of just under eight years.

A modern player with access to better training and medicine should certainly last longer.