Johnson sidelined in New York?

Nursing a bruised thigh, wide receiver Andre Johnson sat out his second consecutive practice Thursday, which normally doesn't bode well for a player's participation in a Sunday game.

But don't pull Johnson from your fantasy lineup just yet. The NFL's leading pass catcher insists he'll be ready for the Jets on Sunday at The Meadowlands.

"I am alright," said Johnson, who jogged lightly during the Texans' morning workout today. "I'll be out on the field. There's no question. I'm getting better day by day. I felt pretty good today. I went out and ran a lot better than I did yesterday. I'll probably go out and practice a little bit tomorrow and see how it goes from there."

The injury occurred against the Buffalo Bills, but Johnson didn't feel the full effect of the bruise until after the game.

"It happened early in the first quarter of the game Sunday," Johnson said. "I was able to keep playing with it. But after the game it got real stiff and the swelling built up. The past couple days I've just been trying to get all the swelling and stuff out. Like I said, I'll be out there (Sunday)."

Head coach Gary Kubiak wasn't so certain.

"It is a concern," Kubiak said after practice. "I'm not going to hide that from anybody. We'll see how he does tomorrow. I think the thigh bruise is a little bit more than we thought it was, and hopefully he'll come out tomorrow and feel better. But he couldn't go and we held him out (today)."

In other injury news, Kubiak said the chances of Pro Bowl kick returner Jerome Mathis returning this season are dimming by the day. The deadline to activate Mathis is Tuesday.

"It does not look like Mathis is going to be ready to play," Kubiak said. "He's unable to run right now. So that's a hard decision coming Tuesday. So we have got a short span to make that decision, but it sure doesn't look good right now."

**Thanksgiving plans

**A native Houstonian, Kubiak couldn't hide his excitement after practice that he gets to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family for the first time in a long time.

"Yeah it is (different)," Kubiak said. "I get a chance to see my folks and stuff. Heck, I haven't done that (on Thanksgiving) in 20 years. So that'll be nice to stop by this evening to see (my parents). I have a lot to be thankful for. I have some good people in my life so I've been very lucky."

The coaches will be done with their meetings by 2 p.m. today, which is much earlier than a normal Thursday.

"We worked through the night pretty good last night and basically did two days of work," Kubiak said. "I'm going to get them out of here. I want them to be with their families."

So what does Kubiak have planned for Thanksgiving? Probably not much different than what you have in mind.

"I'm going to get out of here and I'm going to go see my mom and dad, and go see my mother-in-law," Kubiak said. "I'm going to be a good guy for a day. I have my wife and my two young ones in town. I'll probably sit down and eat too much and watch a little ball just like everybody else."

Defensive end Anthony Weaver rushed out of the locker room with food on his mind today.

"My dad's in town," said Weaver, who also invited some friends over to his house. "We're just going to cook up, watch some football and go to sleep. "My dad makes this stuffing. To this day, I still don't know what he puts in it. But it makes my mouth water just thinking about it."

As far as turkey, Weaver likes all types, including fried.

"Yeah, I've had deep-fried turkey, which is great because it keeps in moisture," he said.

Weaver looks forward to watching some football, too, although the Detroit-Miami game doesn't appeal to him that much.

"Yeah, I plan on watching that Dallas game and I don't know about that Detroit game," he said. "I might have to let that one pass by. But that Dallas game should be a good one to watch." **


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