Thursday, November 3, 2011
Andre Johnson misses practice
HOUSTON -- Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak hasn't ruled out wide receiver Andre Johnson for Sunday's game against Cleveland after the star wide receiver missed his second straight day of practice Thursday.
Kubiak said Johnson, who is recovering from a hamstring injury, was feeling better but the Texans didn't feel he was ready to practice. The receiver went through an intense workout Monday that left him sore and caused him to miss the practices. Kubiak expects Johnson to return to practice on Friday.
"I'm not scared to play Andre if he doesn't practice," Kubiak said. "He knows what's going on. This is strictly about his health and how he's feeling."
Johnson was injured Oct. 2 against Pittsburgh and had a minor procedure to repair the right hamstring injury early the next week. He has missed four straight games and the Texans dropped the first two without him before winning their last two.
With Johnson out, the Texans have just four healthy receivers on their roster. Jacoby Jones has been starting opposite Kevin Walter while Johnson recovers, and the Texans also have Derrick Mason and Bryant Johnson.
Walter led the group with five receptions for 70 yards in Sunday's win over Jacksonville, which improved the Texans to 5-3 and 3-0 in the AFC South. Tight end Owen Daniels also pitched in, snagging four passes for 60 yards.
Kubiak has been impressed with their work while Johnson sits on the bench.
"Andre is our big gun. He's a great player, a tremendous player and when you lose a guy like that for four games in a season it's very tough," Kubiak said. "It's tough on the quarterback, tough on the group, tough on the receivers. I think they've all kind of responded in their own way. They've all made plays and it's been a grind for them."
Running back Arian Foster had just one reception for 12 yards against Jacksonville, but his 299 yards receiving in the last four games have led the team with Johnson out.
"That's always been a part of what we do," Kubiak said. "He's excellent with his hands. He's a three down player and we're going to always make sure that people have to worry about him doing that as well as running the ball. It's just another way of him touching the ball."
Foster's receiving yards have been helpful to the team with Johnson out, but it has been his running that has helped them get back on track in the last two games. Foster has 227 yards rushing combined in the last two games. He is the ninth leading rusher in the NFL with 532 yards despite missing two games.