He's one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, but Andre Johnson is gimpy and may not be able to take the field for the Houston Texans when they play the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, according to several reports.
While the star wideout did some running drills, Johnson didn't practice again on Thursday due to a nagging ankle injury and will be a game-time decision, Gary Kubiak told the Houston Chronicle.
Johnson, who sustained the ankle injury in a game against the Washington Redskins two weeks ago and re-aggravated it in Houston's loss to the Cowboys on Sunday, has 19 catches for 255 yards and one touchdown in three games this season. His best performance came in the game against Washington, when he reeled in 12 passes for 158 yards and one score.
Much like the situation facing the stud running back Steven Jackson and the St. Louis Rams, the Texans are facing the proposition of playing the Raiders this weekend without their top offensive weapon in Johnson. However, Jackson's injuries are different than Johnson's in that Jackson is experiencing tightness in his leg and groin.
When one thinks of the cream of the crop in terms of wide receivers in the league, Johnson's name has to be in the top 10 along with perhaps Randy Moss, Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson, Steve Smith, Miles Austin, and Reggie Wayne, to name a few.
One of the biggest knocks against Johnson is that he is somewhat injury prone. He missed seven games in 2007 and three contests in 2005. However, when healthy he puts up huge stats consistently.
He has caught 606 passes for 8,203 yards and 43 touchdowns in eight seasons, according to NFL.com's stats.
Losing a big target like Johnson will slow the offense against Oakland and put the burden on fellow wideouts Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones as well as running back Arian Foster, who is really making huge strides in his first season as the full-time ball carrier as well as pass-receiving back for the Texans.
What's interesting about this story is how the Raiders think Johnson isn't as gimpy as reported and will play on Sunday, according to an Inside Bay Area report.
While the Texans have some quality offensive players, they will be in trouble if Johnson as well as tight end Owen Daniels (also listed as questionable, according to a TSN report) are unable to go against Oakland.
*Photo by Molly Riley/Reuters.