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Andre Johnson’s Playing Status Remains Uncertain

By TERRANCE HARRIS, SportsRadio 610
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(credit: Bob Levey/Getty Images)

(credit: Bob Levey/Getty Images)

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Texans receiver Andre Johnson remains under evaluation and his status for the immediate future is undetermined, head coach Gary Kubiak said Monday.

Johnson, the Texans All-Pro receiver and most reliable deep threat, injured his hamstring Sunday during the second quarter of Houston’s 17-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. There was a collective hush over Reliant Stadium on Sunday as Johnson lay on the turf in obvious agony. Johnson is the Texans biggest play maker and his availability is certain to have a huge impact on the Texans offense.

Kubiak said the team would seek out “a couple different opinions here over the next two days,” as they try to figure out the severity of Johnson’s hamstring issue. Kubiak said he didn’t know if it was torn at this point.

“He’s going to miss some time,” Kubiak said. “I don’t know if it’s three or four days, I don’t know if that a few weeks. I don’t know right now but once we get a better evaluation and see how he progresses over the next two days, I can probably answer questions better.”

What seems curious is that the Texans are seeking outside opinions on a hamstring injury. But Kubiak said outside opinions on players’ injuries aren’t that uncommon.

“We are just trying to decide what’s best,” he said. “Obviously with Andre right now there is big concern right now with what took place yesterday and what we are doing forward. At the same time we have to do what’s best for Andre. So that’s what we want to do right here so that he understands exactly what’s going on, we understand exactly what’s going on. We’ve got a lot of opinions as we move forward.”

In the meantime, it appears the Texans are preparing with Jacoby Jones stepping into Johnson’s spot in the offense.  Veterans Bryant Johnson and Dave Anderson will also see more time in the rotation.

But during Sunday’s win, quarterback Matt Schaub began to rely more heavily on tight end Owen Daniels once Johnson went down. Daniels responded with five catches for 69 yards and he also had a one-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter before Johnson’s injury. Jones didn’t record a catch.

“I have a lot of confidence in those guys,” Kubiak said. “Jacoby has grown up quite a bit as a player. He came in yesterday and played well and he’s much better in the run game than he has been in the past. He’s very capable of making big plays.

“If we are missing time with Andre you don’t replace Andre. What you do is you have to pick up across the board at other spots. Yesterday O.D. did that for us from a receiving standpoint. If he is going to miss some time we are just going to have play better as a group.”

In other injury news, Kubiak running back Ben Tate and Derrick Ward, linebacker Tim Dobbins and defensive backs Kareem Jackson and Sherrick McManis were all listed as day-to-day as the team prepares to host the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

The biggest concern right now is at running back where Arian Foster is the only healthy experienced running back on the roster after Tate went out in the first quarter Sunday with a groin strain. Ward hasn’t been available in weeks with an ankle injury. The Texans cut former 1,000-yard rusher Steve Slaton last week and moved Chris Ogbonnaya, who was signed this summer as a street free agent, from the practice squad to the active 53-man roster.

Kubiak remains hopeful Tate and Ward could be available by the end of the week, but as an emergency said fullbacks James Casey Lawrence Vickers could play some running back, as well.

Contact Terrance Harris at terrancefharris@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @Terranceharris

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