Tight end Owen Daniels will miss Sunday's game at Jacksonville because of a hamstring injury, Texans coach Gary Kubiak said on Friday.
Daniels also was inactive last Sunday against San Diego. He did not practice at all for the second consecutive week.
"It's been tough," Kubiak said. "I'm worried about him, to be honest with you. It's been a tough process in everything that he's been through from the (knee) rehab and then his hamstring problems now. A great kid that worked his tail off and it's a hard road back, but we'll do right by him, and he's doing everything he can to get back on the field for us."
A Pro Bowler in 2008, Daniels was on pace for the best season of his career in 2009 before tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. The hamstring injury is to his left leg.
"We need him out here helping us," Kubiak said. "He's a leader on this team, but he's been through so much… We've got to get Owen back to 100 percent. He can't be coming out here 80-85 percent and just keep beating himself up. I'm worried about him getting totally healthy before we put him back on this field… It's time to stop and get him well, and that's what we are trying to do."
Daniels said that he hopes to play in two weeks against the New York Jets, but he's also mindful of the big picture.
"The biggest thing is I don't want this to bother me the whole year, and I think Coach Kub's on the same page with that," he said. "If I come back when it's just about right and not like 100 percent completely good and have nothing to worry about, then there's a chance I'll re-tweak it and all that stuff. I just don't want to go backwards, that's all."
Tight ends Joel Dreessen and James Casey will fill in for Daniels again this week. They combined for nine catches and 114 yards last week against the Chargers.
Johnson, Schaub OKAs expected, wide receiver Andre Johnson (ankle) and quarterback Matt Schaub (ribs) will play on Sunday.
Johnson, who missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday, is officially listed as questionable on the injury report.
"He practiced today, but we were light today," Kubiak said. "There's nothing different. He's going to go. He's nicked, but he's going for this team, and the further we go without him reinjuring his ankle, the better off we are going to be. So we'll just keep our fingers crossed, but he'll line up and give us what he's got."
Hill returnsTight end Anthony Hill, who is on the reserve/physically unable to perform (PUP) list, practiced this week for the first time all season. Hill suffered a torn ACL last season on Dec. 13 against the Seattle Seahawks.
"He did all the scout team work," Kubiak said. "He had a good week. He's got a 21-day period that he works, and we've got to make a decision on what we do. It's been so far, so good this week."
The Texans have three weeks to decide whether to put Hill on the active roster or keep him on the PUP list for the rest of the season. He won't take up a roster spot in the meantime.