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Houston Texans

Andre Johnson ruled out of Texans' preseason opener

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Wide receiver Andre Johnson will not play in the Texans' preseason opener at Carolina on Saturday night.

Johnson, who missed took limited reps in practice this week after missing seven days with a pulled groin, is with the team at Bank of America Stadium but will not dress for the game. Rookie wide receiver Keshawn Martin, a fourth-round draft pick from Michigan State, will start in his place.

Veteran wide receiver Bryant Johnson also will not play. That leaves second-year pro Lestar Jean and rookie third-round pick DeVier Posey from Ohio State as the first players off the bench behind Martin and Kevin Walter.

Inside linebacker Brian Cushing and defensive end J.J. Watt also will not dress against the Panthers. Neither player traveled with the team to Charlotte. Cushing spent Tuesday and Wednesday night in a hospital because of a virus and is expected to return to practice next week. Watt is out indefinitely with a dislocated left elbow.

Second-year linebacker Mister Alexander will start for Cushing. Fourth-year defensive end Tim Jamison will start for Watt. Because Omar Gaither and Greg Williams are also not dressing for the game, the Texans are down to four healthy inside linebackers: Bradie James, Alexander, Tim Dobbins and Shawn Loiseau.

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