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Thursday, December 22, 2011
Don't expect Johnson, Clark on Thursday

By Stephania Bell

For those playing in their fantasy football championships, there aren't too many injury dilemmas heading into Thursday night's game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans. In fact, Texans coach Gary Kubiak made it a little easier by ruling out wide receiver Andre Johnson in advance of the game.

Johnson has continued to make progress with his injured hamstring but, as noted Tuesday, the team has already secured a playoff berth and is understandably inclined to protect its key player for the postseason. According to the Texans' website, Johnson has indicated he would like to play again before the end of the regular season, an understandable wish as athletes often get the best measuring stick of their progress by participating in a game. "I would like to play, at least play before we get into the playoffs," said Johnson, adding, "[I'm] feeling real good." He should get his chance to find out just how healthy his legs feel in Week 17.

One Texans player whose status has yet been decided is tight end Owen Daniels. Daniels is listed as questionable with a sore knee, and the determination as to whether he plays or not will come down to game time. He participated in a limited practice Wednesday after sitting out Tuesday, improving his chances of playing, but the team will make its final assessment before kickoff. Fellow tight end Joel Dreessen is also on the injury report with a sore knee and wrist, but he is listed as probable.

The Colts are again expected to be without top tight end Dallas Clark as he continues to recover from a neck injury sustained in Week 14. Clark has not practiced all week and is listed as doubtful, making it all but certain he will sit this one out as well. Jacob Tamme would start again in his place.

Given the altered NFL schedule this week with most games happening Saturday, the big end-of-week injury blog for Week 16 will appear here Friday after final league injury reports are posted.

There will still be a Friday morning chat at 11 a.m., so hope to see you there!