Although he is doing everything he can to play against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, there is a good chance receiver Andre Johnson will miss his second game of the season because of an ankle injury.
Johnson disclosed after practice Friday that an MRI this week showed new damage to the high ankle sprain he suffered in the second game of the season.
Johnson, who needs to average 142 yards in the last two games against Denver and Jacksonville to become the first receiver in history to have at least 1,500 in three consecutive seasons, will be a game-time decision.
“I’m trying to do everything I can to make sure I’m out there, pretty much like I have been for weeks,” he said. “I’ve been banging it up for 10 or 11 weeks, and it’s kind of taken a toll.
“I had something happen to it in the Baltimore game. We didn’t think it could get any worse, but it has. I had an MRI, and things weren’t the same. The past few MRIs were the same, but we found some change in this one.”
If Johnson can’t play, he’ll be replaced in the lineup by Jacoby Jones (41 catches, 377 yards, three touchdowns), who would start opposite Kevin Walter (47 for 553 and five). Rookie Dorin Dickerson will become the third receiver.
“I had the high ankle sprain, and it was in the front part of my ankle,” Johnson said. “When I got tackled in the Baltimore game, my joint got jammed up, and it’s affecting me in the back now, kind of like around the Achilles area.
“When I run now, I feel more pain than before. I’ve been getting a shot the past few games, but I can still feel pain. There’s only so much you can numb up, and they can’t numb the joint, and that’s what’s really starting to bother me really bad.”
“He jogged around a little bit today,” coach Gary Kubiak said. “We’ll bring him in early (Saturday) and move him around a little bit and see if he (can) go. I’ll listen to him.
“We had 80-something plays (in a Monday game) against Baltimore, and then we went to Tennessee six days later. I think that stuff has caught up with him. If he can take a shot, and he feels like he can run and play, then he’s going to play.”
With Andre Johnson and the Texans not set to kick off until 4PM, this becomes a very risky situation for managers vying for a fantasy championship. The injury has gotten worse and it sounds as if there is a real chance that Johnson could miss Sunday. Still, he has been putting up big numbers with the ankle all season long. Kubiak says if he can go he will. Owners should have a backup plan going in a 4PM or later game to be safe.