Houston Texans franchise wide receiver Andre Johnson will miss his sixth straight game because he is still recovering from a right hamstring injury.
His loss, though, won't be a huge blow to the Texans who are 6-3 with a potent defense and a running back tandem of Arian Foster and Ben Tate who can generate high offensive numbers. Not rushing Johnson into playing will be worthwhile down the stretch, especially with a bye this Sunday, when the Texans finally push to clinch their first playoff berth in franchise history.
For fantasy owners, not rushing Johnson back either should be the plan. Sit him until he is healthy.
He is doing wonderful, and we should come out of the bye knowing that he's back ready to go and be a part of our team as we go into those last six weeks, said coach Gary Kubiak, according to the official team website. He's doing really good, but the smart thing to do is to give him this extra time to rest. We got to continue to have some guys step up and take his place.
Johnson was hurt in the second quarter of Houston's 17-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Oct. 2 when he collapsed on the floor after running a short pass. Johnson said he had a setback in a workout early last week that forced him to miss last weekend's 30-12 victory over the Cleveland Browns.
According to ESPN, Johnson ran on a separate field Friday as the Texans prepared for this Sunday's game at Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers (4-4). After Sunday, Houston has its bye before playing at Jacksonville against the Jaguars on Nov. 27.
Johnson said Friday that holding him out for one more game was probably the best decision. He sat out practice all this week.
I still could go out and play football, said Johnson. We just felt the best thing was just to wait and go through the off week.
Johnson says he's progressed beyond the point where he's worried about aggravating the injury.
I'm feeling good now, I'm excited about where I'm at, he said. Before, when I was running, I always felt that pulling feeling. I haven't been feeling it. But the crazy thing is, you get so used to feeling something when you're running, you get to feeling certain things and you're kind of waiting for it to happen again.
The Texans have won three in a row since losing the first two games after Johnson was hurt. Besides Foster and Tate, tight ends Owen Daniels and Joel Dreessen and receivers Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter have played well in Johnson's absence.
I know a lot of people didn't think we would be in the position we're in when I went down, because of things that have happened in the past, Johnson said. We have a good team, a lot of weapons and a lot of guys who can make plays. Me now, I have to play catch-up. I have to come back and pick up the pace and get to the level where they're playing.