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Players regroup, assess damage

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Insurance assessment pending, defensive tackle Travis Johnson appears to have lost his home to damages from Hurricane Ike.

Hurricane Ike caused extensive damage to the homes of several Texans players this weekend. Defensive tackle Travis Johnson suffered what he called "unexplainable" damage to his house in Missouri City. Tight end Owen Daniels and defensive end Mario Williams also were among those whose homes were structurally affected by the storm.

Johnson, whose entire ceiling collapsed during the storm after winds blew away the shingles on his roof, isn't optimistic that his house is salvageable. He and his wife, mother-in-law and three young children weathered the storm at a nearby friend's house, where they will continue to stay for the time being.

"It's kind of disheartening, but at the same time, you just have to pick yourself up and the show must go on and life itself," Johnson said. "I'm blessed to have somewhere else to go and to have food to put in my stomach and to feed my kids. I'll be alright."

A pine tree fell on Williams' house in the west Houston suburb of Memorial. His mother's house, located in nearby Sugar Land, lost its roof. Like most Houston residents, Williams and his mother are still without power.

But after surveying the damage in his neighborhood, where fallen trees still obstruct many of the roadways four days after the storm, Williams feels fortunate that the damage to his house isn't worse.

"I feel very lucky," he said. "My area is very bad. It could have gotten a lot worse. There's tons of trees that were down, tons of trees that could have fallen on people's houses.

"I'm just thankful that nobody got hurt that I know of. I hope all of those that are injured and everything, that they bounce back."

{QUOTE}At Daniels' house, located near the Bellaire neighborhood, Ike's winds ripped off shingles in some areas and tore the roof off completely in other parts, exposing his floor to extensive water damage. Daniels managed not to lose electricity during the storm, though, and several teammates stayed at his house on Saturday, claiming downstairs couches as beds.

On Monday, Daniels began to patch up his roof and now, like Johnson, awaits insurance agents to come and assess the damage.

Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson was fortunate enough not to be severely affected by Ike. He regained power in his Bellaire-area home on Monday and has offered assistance to teammates in need.

"A lot of the guys on the team still don't have power," he said. "I have no problem with the guys coming over to my house.

"We've been calling around, checking on each other and making sure that everyone was OK. Other than that, you just try to help each other and if other people around the neighborhood need help, you help them out as much as you can."

While the Texans' Pro Bowl receiver previously had been through hurricanes in his hometown of Miami, Ike was the first hurricane experience for many of his coaches and teammates. Most of the Texans stayed in Houston and braved the storm with their loved ones.

"It was very scary," quarterback Matt Schaub said. "I probably got like three hours of sleep – my wife, not so much. It was very scary to hear the wind and everything rattling and leaves and branches hitting the house, but we were able to try and get as far away from any windows as we could and get cover so that we didn't have to hear so much."

The Texans now face the ominous task of casting aside their anxieties over the storm and focusing on football. After Tuesday's practice, several players called it therapeutic to return to the field and focus on X's and O's instead of flooding and devastation.

Texans head coach Gary Kubiak is confident that his team will be ready to play, beginning with their road game at Tennessee this Sunday.

"It's a challenge we have," he said. "That's part of it. To be honest with you, we're going to be fine. We are going to get ready to go. I'm worried about everyone else in this state and the problems they have and what's taken place. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. We'll figure this out as a football team and we'll get ourselves ready to go."

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