Rookie quarterback T.J. Yates could be without the Texans top two receiving threats when they take on the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Tuesday receiver Andre Johnson is definitely out for a third straight week with a hamstring injury, while tight end Owen Daniels is a question mark with a sore knee. Daniels did not practice Tuesday, but Kubiak said he would make a decision after Wednesday’s early practice before the team boards its flight to Indianapolis.
“He did a little bit with us yesterday,” Kubiak said of Daniel. “His knee is very sore today and hit has been sore. We will see where we are at. We are actually going to practice a little bit in the morning before we leave and if he is able to go in the morning then his chances are much better, but we will see.”
But there is no chance Johnson will go at all Kubiak confirmed. This will be Johnson’s third straight missed game and the ninth game this season the All-Pro receiver has been held out due to a hamstring issue.
Kubiak remains hopeful Johnson will be ready for the Texans regular-season finale against Tennessee on Jan. 1.
“He’s out but he’s very close but he will not go,” said Kubiak, who 10-4 team has locked up first place in the AFC South and its first playoff berth. “We are 24 hours away from game time and he has not been back on the field. We’ll give him some more time to rest. He has a long weekend so hopefully that works out.”
Still there seems to be lingering questions about when Johnson should return to the field. Conventional wisdom says don’t risk another setback with his hamstrings until the playoffs, but there is also a train of thought Johnson needs to be integrated back into the offense with a new starting quarterback to get use to.
“I would like to at least play before we get into the playoffs, but that’s not my choice.,” Johnson said following Monday night’s practice. “Coach Kubiak will make that decision. I’m feeling real good, ran real good (Monday morning) and I’m just taking it day-by-day.”
Kubiak said Tuesday it would be ideal to have Johnson back for the regular-season finale, “but at the same time I have to listen to him, watch him and see what’s going on. I think we are very close to him coming back out here with his teammates but with such a quick turnaround it’s not very smart. So we will get him some more rest time over the weekend.”
In addition to Johnson and Daniels, both safety Troy Nolan and cornerback Sherrick McManis did not practice due to ankle injuries.