Andre Johnson's injury to his hamstring has kept the Houston Texans' star wide receiver out of the team's last two games. Late Tuesday, the Texans traded for wide receiver Derrick Mason from the New York Jets.
Which begs the question: Are those two facts correlated at all? Is Andre Johnson's injury worse than the Texans are letting on?
It's a question that likely will only be answered with time, since the Texans have been shy to discuss the specifics of Johnson's injury. Texans head coach Gary Kubiak did say Wednesday that Johnson would miss Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens.
But he would not give a specific timetable as to Johnson's return.
He's day-to-day, Kubiak said in a conference call with Baltimore reporters, according to The Baltimore Sun. He's coming off the procedure that he had. He's doing very well. He could possibly start some running this week.
I don't know. We'll see. It's still going to take a little bit of time. We list him day-to-day until he starts to recover from this thing. We're expecting him back pretty quickly.
Enter Mason, acquired Tuesday night from the Jets in exchange for a conditional draft pick. Jets head coach Rex Ryan was the first to admit that Mason had been a disappointment so far this season, and his lofty prediction of 90 to 100 catches is not on its way to coming to fruition - Mason has 13 receptions through five games.
But perhaps a change of scenery is just the right thing for the ex-Ravens receiver. It became clear that Mason didn't fit the Jets offense as a third receiver, as rookie Jeremy Kerley saw more time in that position last weekend against the Patriots.
Make no mistake, though. Mason is not coming to take Johnson's place. He's more of a placeholder, in fact. In Kevin Walter, Jacoby Jones and Mason, the Texans have a trio of No. 3 receivers until their true No. 1 gets back.
Mason helps alleviate that wait. The 37-year-old Mason is likely on the decline, but the Jets' may have made that steeper and quicker. The last time Mason did not catch 60 passes in a season was in 1999.
We're going through some issues right now as a football team, Kubiak said on the conference call Wednesday. We've got some nicks going on. We lost some players. Obviously, Andre Johnson is out. ... We're just trying to get ourselves back together full strength here from a position standpoint.
We had an opportunity to acquire a veteran who has played very well in this league. Hopefully, he'll be able to come in and help us out.
Hopefully, because last season, Johnson had a monster game against the Ravens, catching nine balls for 140 yards and two touchdowns. The Ravens ended up winning the game in overtime, 34-28.
Johnson was third in the NFL in receptions with 21 and fourth in yards with 316 before his injury forced him out of the last two games.