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Colts-Texans injury preview

10/9/2014
Arian Foster is dinged up heading into Week 6, a familiar condition for the Texans rusher. AP Photo/Brandon Wade

This week's installment of "Thursday Night Football" has the Indianapolis Colts traveling to take on their division rival Houston Texans. The Colts don't have any fantasy-relevant injuries to update, but there are three players for Houston whom I've been keeping tabs on this week:

Andre Johnson, WR, ankle (Questionable): Johnson’s status is the only one in question for the Texans. All other players are listed as probable, with the exception of two defensive players who have already been ruled out (Jadeveon Clowney and Darryl Morris).

Johnson is trying to manage an ankle injury and thus far has been playing through it. In Week 5, Johnson was also listed as questionable but ended up active and had five catches on the day. Although he was listed as a non-participant for each practice day in this short week, the veteran is certainly capable of showing up for a game with limited preparation. In fact, as ESPN.com’s Tania Ganguli reported, coach Bill O’Brien has acknowledged the veterans are able to provide more input into how much they are able to do during the week with an eye on game day.

Fantasy owners would be advised to verify Johnson’s status before kickoff, but it appears likely he will take the field.

Arian Foster, RB, hamstring; Alfred Blue, RB, knee (Probable): The probable tag indicates that the Texans plan on having both backs available Thursday night, but it’s worth noting that both are listed on the injury report. Thursday reports are sometimes deceptive, particularly as the season progresses, because so many players have bumps and bruises that will limit their practice time and require treatment, necessitating an appearance on the report. Their status coming into the game may not be in jeopardy, though.

That is seemingly the case for both Foster and Blue. Both were listed as non-participants in Monday’s practice, limited for Tuesday and full for Wednesday, but all practice reports were estimations, since the team conducted walk-throughs each of the three days, according to the official league report. This reflects the priority for teams playing Thursday night following a Sunday game: Allow the players enough recovery so they can perform up to par while minimizing injury risk on just four days' rest.

Perhaps the most encouraging sign of Foster’s relative health is his most recent performance: He racked up 157 yards and two scores on 23 carries in Week 5, his most productive of three high-yield games this season. He has played in four games total, but in Week 4 -- the game after he sat out a week to rest his hamstring -- Foster managed only six yards on eight attempts.

Meanwhile, Blue is healthy enough to be available, but he has primarily had a supporting role thus far. Expect both players to be ready to go Thursday night.