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Johnson ruled out; Daniels sits out with sore knee


Another week, another game for the Texans without Andre Johnson.

The All-Pro wide receiver was unsurprisingly ruled out of Thursday's game at Indianapolis on Tuesday afternoon. He missed practice because of a left hamstring injury that has sidelined him for the last two weeks.

"Of course you'd like to play, but we're going to do what's best for the team and whatever we feel is best for me," Johnson said. "If I had to go out and play the game today, I could go out and play. That's pretty much it."

The Texans would like Johnson to return for the regular-season finale against Tennessee on Jan. 1. Johnson ran with Texans director of sports medicine/head athletic trainer Geoff Kaplan on Tuesday.

"He's very close," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "Sounds familiar, doesn't it? ... Like I told y'all, I would love for Andre to get some play time before we head into January, but at the same time, I've got to listen to him and watch him in what's going on. I think we're very close to him coming back out here with his teammates, but obviously with such a quick turnaround, it's not very smart and we'll get him some more rest time over the weekend."

Tight end Owen Daniels also missed practice on Tuesday. He appeared to injure his knee against Carolina on Sunday but did not leave the game.

"He did a little bit yesterday with us," Kubiak said. "His knee's very sore today. It has been sore, and we'll see where we're at. We're actually going to practice a little bit in the morning before we leave, so if he's able to go in the morning, his chances will be much better, but we'll see."

Daniels is the Texans' leading receiver with 53 catches for 673 yards. His backup, Joel Dreessen, who has a team-high six touchdown catches, also has a sore knee and was limited in practice on Tuesday.

Kubiak did not seem overly concerned about the availability of his top two tight ends.

"Those two guys have played all year long," he said. "They haven't missed a practice. They've been true warriors."

Right guard Mike Brisiel, cornerback Sherrick McManis and safety Troy Nolan all sat out Tuesday's practice with ankle injuries. Nose tackle Shaun Cody (knee), running back (foot) and cornerback Johnathan Joseph (hamstring) were among seven players who were limited.

Kubiak shared a bit of good news on defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who has been on a medical leave of absence since last Thursday. Phillips had surgery on his kidney and gallbladder and has been recovering steadily in a local hospital.

"He's doing very well," Kubiak said. "He is still in the hospital. I think the thought is possibly he gets out in the next day or two if everything continues to go like it has. I spent Saturday with him, spent a lot of time with him. (He's) very upbeat and up moving around, so he's doing very well."

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