Notes from the Texans' practice and locker room on Friday at Reliant Stadium:
Bad news, good newsThe Texans will play Sunday without wide receiver Andre Johnson, who is rehabbing a hamstring. But there was some good news about Johnson, which you can read here.
Blocking on the edge
On a consistent basis, head coach Gary Kubiak has made it a point to praise the run-blocking by receivers Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones. Kubiak was asked about it again after Friday's practice, and reiterated his thoughts on the job those two are doing in support of Arian Foster, Ben Tate and the run game.
"That's the difference whether you have five or six-yard runs or 10 or 12-yard runs if your receivers are guys that will give it up in the run game," Kubiak said. "We demand that our guys do that. Those guys do it well."
Overall, Kubiak is very pleased with the way Walter and Jones have played without Johnson in the lineup.
"I think they've done a heck of a job," Kubiak said. "First off, they've played a ton of snaps. We've run the ball extremely well, so we've had a couple games where we haven't thrown it a lot, but they've played well in those games. Then we threw the ball a lot in Tennessee, threw it well. They played extremely well in that game."
Kubiak specifically pointed out that each has taken advantage of the opportunity to step up and contribute.
"Kevin's always taken advantage of his," Kubiak said. "Jacoby to me has taken advantage of his. He's proven he can be a down in, down out player."
Without Johnson, the Texans have managed to average 25.8 points per game. Everyone in the organization agrees that they'd rather have Johnson playing, but they're also happy that the team has been able to score so well. As for Johnson, he's excited about the output.
"It means a lot," Johnson said. "I know a lot of people didn't think we would be in the position that we're in as a team when I went down because of things that have happened in the past, but we have a good football team."
In particular, Johnson has been impressed at the skill position players.
"We have a lot of weapons and a lot of guys that can make plays," Johnson said. "Me now, I have to play catch up. I have to come back, pick up the pace and get to the level where they're playing. I definitely have to come back and play at a high level. You don't want to come back and not be playing at the same level as your teammates. What they've done over the past five weeks has been awesome."
"I'm going to worry about Tampa, okay? We'll talk about Andre and that down the road, okay? Let's worry about Tampa." –Head coach Gary Kubiak on what it might be like to get Andre Johnson back against the Jaguars.