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Texans notebook: Johnson says he'll play on Sunday


Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson, who is day-to-day with a mildly sprained ankle, did not participate in practice on Wednesday but expects to play in Week 3 against the Dallas Cowboys.

"I'll be out on the field on Sunday," Johnson said. "The only way I wouldn't play is if I feel like I wouldn't be able to play and I would hurt the team. If I felt that way, I wouldn't play, but the way I feel right now, I'll be out there on Sunday."

Texans coach Gary Kubiak expects his All-Pro receiver to practice "a little bit" on Thursday.

"I jogged around earlier today," Johnson said. "It feels better than I thought it would be feeling, so I'll probably go out and run again tomorrow and see how it feels. But it's been getting better day by day. It feels pretty good."

Surprise winner
Johnson was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week on Wednesday for his 12-catch, 158-yard performance at Washington.

It was only the second time that Johnson, a four-time Pro Bowler, has won the award in his career. But he was surprised that it didn't go to Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, who threw for 497 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday.

"When they told me this morning, I thought they were playing with me," Johnson said. "I really thought Matt would get it. Without a doubt, I knew that Matt would be the AFC Player of the Week.

"It's a great accomplishment, but I couldn't do it without my teammates. You look at the way Kevin (Walter) and Jacoby (Jones), Owen (Daniels) and Joel (Dreessen), the way they made plays out there, we were all together out there as one group. But there was no doubt in my mind I thought Matt would get that award."

Familiar addition
Rashad Butler moved into the starting lineup at practice on Wednesday with left tackle Duane Brown's four-game suspension already in effect. The Texans signed offensive tackle Ephraim Salaam to take Brown's spot on the roster.

Salaam, 34, was with the Texans from 2006-08 and for two games at the end of last season. He started 30 games in the 2006-07 seasons.

"He can step right in," offensive line coach John Benton said. "He knows everything we're doing. He's got to get polished up on this week's game plan, but other than that he knows exactly what we need to get done and what's required, understands his role and why he's here and that type of purpose and gives us an experienced guy that can help us win if you need him to."

Salaam also adds another entertaining personality to the Texans' locker room.

"He's one of those guys that always has a twinkle in his eye," Benton said. "He's always got an intelligent-slash-witty comment ready about anything and everything. He's always had a good work ethic, but at the same time, he keeps the whole room light and loose."

"Nope. I'm not getting all pumped up just because it's the Cowboys and this and that. It's about the Texans. It's not about the Cowboys. A lot of people try to make a big deal about the Cowboys coming in here… Well, what about us? What about our team? What about the Texans? I'm not worried about the Cowboys."
- LB DeMeco Ryans, on whether there'll be any extra energy on the sideline because the Texans are playing the Cowboys

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