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HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – After a frustrating first week of injuries to key players, the Texans had some welcome sights Monday morning with three of the injured players making their way back to the practice field.
Star receiver Andre Johnson (groin), left tackle Duane Brown (ankle bone bruise) and cornerback Kareem Jackson (hamstring) all returned to practice after suffering injuries during the first week of training camp. Both Johnson and Jackson took a limited number of snaps while Brown was cleared to take his full allotment of repetitions during Monday morning’s shirt and shorts practice.
Other than being a little winded from practicing on one of the hottest days of camp so far Brown said it felt good being back and that his ankle is fine. The Texans, of course, held their collective breath when quarterback Matt Schaub’s blind-side protector went down with what seemed like a serious ankle injury initially but test later revealed it was only a bone bruise.
In addition to those three, the Texans also lost defensive end J.J. Watt with an elbow injury that will likely force him to miss the four preseason games but the team is hopeful he can return by the regular-season opener next month.
“It’s the nature of the beast, I just have to grind to get back,” Brown said following the morning practice session. “A few of us got lucky to avoid some major injuries. We just have to get back to it.”
The injury that caused the most concern last week was the groin strain Johnson suffered on the second day of training camp. Johnson is coming off an injury plagued year in which he missed a total of nine games with two different hamstring injuries last season and then he missed OTAs and minicamp after having arthroscopic knee surgery this spring.
Johnson looked like himself on a few receptions from Schaub during the morning practice. He only took about half the reps with the first team. Texans coach Gary Kubiak said they will continue to limit Johnson’s snap count the rest of the week and that a determination about him playing in Saturday’s preseason opener at the Carolina Panthers will likely come Thursday.
“I thought he looked good,” Kubiak said of Johnson. “It’s about getting him going again and not expecting him to go the full bore the first day out. I thought he held up well and we will move forward (Tuesday).”
In addition to the return of Brown, Johnson and Jackson, the Texans also got linebacker Jesse Nading and outside linebacker Brooks Reed back to practice. Rookie defensive end Jared Crick still has not returned to practice.