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Thursday notebook: Johnson, Williams sit out of practice

Posted Dec 9, 2010

Wide receiver Andre Johnson and defensive end Mario Williams did not practice on Thursday at the Methodist Training Center, while tight end Owen Daniels continued to progress toward a Monday night return.


Wide receiver Andre Johnson and defensive end Mario Williams did not practice on Thursday, but Texans coach Gary Kubiak expects them both to return on Friday.

“Mario and Andre are on their usual route; I guess that’s the way to put it,” Kubiak said. “They should be out tomorrow to do something.”

Johnson (ankle) and Williams (sports hernia) typically don’t practice on Wednesdays. Thursday is like a Wednesday this week since the Texans’ game is a day later than usual on Monday Night Football.

Rookie tight end Garrett Graham also sat out of practice on Thursday. Graham strained a hamstring earlier this week and “looks pretty iffy” for Monday, Kubiak said.

All systems go
Tight end Owen Daniels took another step toward returning from a hamstring injury against the Ravens, upping his workload in practice on Thursday.

“He looks good,” Kubiak said. “He practiced Monday, Tuesday and took a bigger dose today. All systems look like they’re go, so we’ll put the pads on a little bit tomorrow and see. (It’s) good to have him back.”

Daniels aggravated his hamstring injury before the Texans played the Colts in Week 8. He hasn’t played in a game since.

“After all he’s been through, we wanted to make sure we got him as healthy as he possibly could,” Kubiak said. “I just didn’t want to put him out there and go through the same thing. He looks good and he has held up through the three practices that we’ve had.”

Demps on returns?
Kubiak was asked how likely it is that safety Quintin Demps, who signed with the Texans on Tuesday, will return kickoffs on Monday night.

“I don’t know,” Kubiak said. “I don’t know if he’ll be up (active). We’ll have to see. He could do it. That is something he’s done.”

A third-year pro out of UTEP, Demps was the primary kickoff returner for the Philadelphia Eagles as a rookie in 2008. He averaged 25.3 yards per return with one touchdown, which incidentally came against the Ravens on a 100-yard return.

Texans wide receiver Jacoby Jones and running back Steve Slaton have combined to average 20.1 yards on returns this season.

Thoughts on Pro Bowl voting
As announced by the league on Wednesday, Johnson and Texans running back Arian Foster lead the AFC in fan voting for the 2011 Pro Bowl at their respective positions.

Foster has 414,033 votes, the eighth-highest total of any NFL player.

“It means that the fans are appreciative of what you’re doing for the game, and I really am humbled by it,” Foster said.

Johnson, a four-time Pro Bowler, has the most votes of any AFC wide receiver with 340,996.

“It means a lot, but at the same time, I’m focused on trying to win games and get this organization to where it wants to be,” Johnson said. “You know, you can go to all the Pro Bowls you want to, but if you’re not winning, I don’t really think it matters.”

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