Texans coach Gary Kubiak announced Friday after practice that wide receiver Andre Johnson will miss Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns at Reliant Stadium. Johnson continues to recover from surgery on his hamstring, which he injured facing the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4.
Kubiak did not seem discouraged by Johnson's progress and considers his star wideout to be "very close" to returning.
"Obviously, he's not ready to go yet," Kubiak said. "When he got pushed Monday, the response was, 'No, not yet.'
"Today, he was excellent. The spirits are back up and he's in a great mood, felt good about what happened today. We'll get there."
Johnson discussed his health with the media in the locker room after practice.
"We kind of had a little setback from our Monday workout," he said. "I have been sore for a couple days. I went out and ran today, so it felt pretty good. Just to have to keep working hard and just stay positive."
Without Johnson, the Texans have won two of their past four games. Wide receivers Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones have seen increased reps, while tight end Owen Daniels has emerged as a top target with a team-high 31 catches. Johnson still ranks second on the team with 25 receptions for 352 yards (14.1 avg.) and two scores.
"Once again, we got to have guys step up and this team's got to continue to rally together and take up for his absence," Kubiak said.
Next week, the Texans travel to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before the bye week. Johnson isn't ready to guarantee that he'll be ready by Week 10.
"To be honest, I haven't really targeted any date," he said. "It just all depends on how your body responds. I thought I would be back playing by now. I'm not, so right now I just really can't set a date. I'm just taking it one day at a time.
"I know fans and everybody else wishes I could be out there playing, but I want to be out there just as bad as everybody wants me out there."