As the Houston Texans await word on the status of Pro-bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson's hamstring injury, they are also awaiting the results of the fate of their offensive attack.
Johnson went down untouched during the second quarter of the Texans' 17-10 win over the Steelers on Sunday, and the team later diagnosed it as a strained hamstring. This relieved the prevailing thoughts of a knee injury.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak told reporters Monday that Johnson will get a second opinion on the hamstring injury. He was scheduled to have an MRI Monday, but Kubiak said the team is going to get a second opinion. He said that Johnson will miss time, but that time varied from day-to-day to a few weeks.
Johnson's loss for an extended period of time would serve as a giant setback to Houston's offense based on the numbers and the replacements.
Despite missing nearly three quarters Sunday, Johnson still ranks seventh in the NFL with 25 receptions and ninth with 352 receiving yards. The Texans' next-leading receiver is tight end Owen Daniels, who has 182 yards on 14 catches. Not to mention the attention paid to Johnson that will be lost.
The Texans currently rank 19th in the NFL in pass yards with 231.5 per game. That will only decline if Johnson is lost for a significant period of time.
Let's take a look at how the Texans fared after Johnson got hurt. Right after he picked up a first down on the play he got injured, the Texans followed up a short pass with four straight runs. Then quarterback Matt Schaub's next two passes fell incomplete, and Neil Rackers kicked a field goal.
The Texans managed to put together one impressive, game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. Going 85 yards in five plays, the Texans relied upon Daniels as the passing target and Arian Foster as the running threat, as he scampered up the middle 42 yards for a touchdown.
The other drives? Zero first downs.
That inconsistent attack won't cut it against teams more challenging than the aging Steelers -- teams the Texans will have to compete with if they want to challenge for their first playoff berth and first division title.
And it's complicated by a grueling schedule over the next three weeks. A home date with Oakland is followed by road trips to Baltimore and fellow division-leading foe Tennessee. And potentially their leading offensive weapon out, this could be the stretch that serves as season-defining.