The Texans practiced Friday at the Methodist Training Center and after, head coach Gary Kubiak and wide receiver Andre Johnson answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Head Coach Gary KubiakWR Andre Johnson
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on WR Andre Johnson) "Andre will not play, but he is doing wonderful and we should come out of the bye knowing that he's back ready to go and be a part of our team as we go into those last six weeks. He's doing really good, but the smart thing to do is to give him this extra time to rest. We got to continue to have some guys step up and take his place."
(on if he expects WR Andre Johnson to be ready to play against Jacksonville after the bye week) "Yeah, I do, but let's be honest, until he comes out here and starts practicing with the team, I think we don't get ahead of ourselves there. But everything looks like he will be doing that. We'll work him next week when we give the other guys a break and he should be ready to come going into the Jacksonville week."
(on how exciting it will be to see WR Andre Johnson back in the offense in a couple weeks) "I'm going to worry about Tampa, okay? We'll talk about Andre and that down the road, okay? Let's worry about Tampa."
(on the other injuries) "Antonio (Smith) is fine. He's ready to go. Eric (Winston) did practice today. He's ready to go. Earl (Mitchell) practiced today. All those guys that we're trying to get to Sunday, they'll be there. (Sherrick) McManis was a little limited today in practice, but other than that, everybody should be ready to go."
(on how WRs Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones have done with WR Andre Johnson out) "I think they've done a heck of a job. 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. They got opportunities. Kevin's always taken advantage of his. Jacoby to me has taken advantage of his. He's proven he can be a down in, down out player."
(on the blocking by WRs Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones) "Yeah and that's the difference whether you have 5- or 6-yard runs or 10- or 12-yard runs if your receivers are guys that will give it up in the run game and we demand that our guys do that. Those guys do it well."
WR Andre Johnson
(on the decision to not play this week) "I think it was a good decision. Like I said, I think it's probably the best decision because you don't want nothing crazy to happen. I wasn't able to practice with the team this week, but I still could go out and play football. I didn't practice, so we felt the best thing was just to wait and go through the off week. I'll be still here doing off-week working and doing routes and stuff like that and just shoot for the Jacksonville game."
(on if he's certain he'll play after the bye week) "I should be ready the Jacksonville game. That's the way I feel about it. Everything's been going very positive this past week. Like I said yesterday, I haven't been feeling the pulling feeling that was causing the pain and stuff, so hopefully I'll continue not to feel it. I didn't feel it today when I ran. I had another good day of work today. Like I said, it's been very positive and we felt the best decision was for me not to play Sunday and just shoot for the Jacksonville game."
(on if sitting out this week is more precautionary than anything else) "Yeah, like I said, you don't want to go out there and risk something happening and have a setback. With the off week, it just gives you another week. Then you get ready to play a game the following week. Basically it gives you almost two weeks. We felt that was best and that was the decision that was made."
(on what it means that the team has still played well without him) "It means a lot. 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. We have a lot of weapons and a lot of guys that can make plays. 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."
(on how much he's itching to play again) "I've been itching a lot. That's why Coach Kubiak always says that it's important that I stay positive because there were times when I've been very down doing the rehab and doing the same things over and over. It just kind of gets frustrating and it gets aggravating, but it's part of the process and I'm feeling good now. I'm excited about where I'm at. Like I said, off week, I'll still be here, keep working and getting ready to play against Jacksonville."
(on if he's past the point of worrying about another setback) "Like I said yesterday, the thing is before when I was running, I always felt that pulling feeling. I haven't been feeling it, but the crazy thing is you get so used to feeling something when you're running, so when you're running you get to feeling certain things, you're kind of waiting for it to happen again. That's the point where I'm at right now, but I think I'll be over that. Like I said, I went out and ran again today. I didn't feel anything. I'll take tomorrow and Sunday off and when I come back Monday, I think I'll go out and run routes and things like that and I'll really, really get to see where I'm at."
(on if he feels like he will need to be careful on Monday) "No, I'm going to go at it. I've been going at the running the past two days, but it's different when you're running routes and things like that, cutting and running full speed, breaking down and things like that. I'm going to go all out. I'm going to go after it when I come back on Monday."
(on what it's like to see the team in first place in the division right now) "It's exciting, man. It's something I've been waiting for, for nine seasons. It's fine to hear. We have a great opportunity and all we can do is take advantage of it. Every game we play is another opportunity and we have to take full advantage of every opportunity we have. We have six games left when I come back and I'm going to give it everything I got for those six games to make sure we come out on top."
(on if he's surprised his recovery from his injury has taken this long) "Yeah, but at the same time, the doctor did tell me it could take six weeks. It's been five and a half. I think Tuesday will make six. Like I said, I've made a lot of progress and everything's been very positive, so hopefully everything can continue to get better."