Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson spent Wednesday's practice in the training room as he recovers from a left hamstring injury suffered against the Atlanta Falcons.
Coach Gary Kubiak reiterated that the Texans feel fortunate Johnson's injury is not more severe. But, after telling Cincinnati media Wednesday morning that Johnson would be a game-time decision, he did not sound overly optimistic about his star receiver's chances of playing against the Bengals on Sunday.
"Is there a chance this weekend?" Kubiak said after practice. "I probably can answer that better in a couple days. There's always a chance. I feel very fortunate. I know we're going to get Andre back. The key here right now is that when we get him back, we need to make sure we get him back for the long haul.
"Hopefully, we can get him back here real quick. He's upbeat. He felt good today, but like I said, until he gets back out here, we'll have to wait and see."
Kubiak indicated that the weather at the Methodist Training Center on Wednesday -- high-30s and windy -- was a factor in Johnson staying inside.
"Obviously with the weather, it's nice, but it's cool, so we weren't going to run him today," Kubiak said. "It'll be day-to-day. I'll let you guys know tomorrow."
Johnson missed six games earlier this season with a right hamstring injury. He has never had issues with his hamstrings before this season.
"I know it's been frustrating, very much so for him, especially where his football team is right now," Kubiak said. "But all that frustration can go away (if you) get healthy, come back and finish the right way. That's what we're counting on, but I know it's been a difficult time for him."
If Johnson cannot play this Sunday, wide receiver Jacoby Jones will move back into the starting lineup opposite Kevin Walter.
"Y'all know how much confidence I have in them," Kubiak said. "Y'all know how they played when Andre was out. It brings Derrick (Mason) back up to playing a lot more and Bryant (Johnson) up to playing a lot more. That's kind of the way it's been all season. Those guys practiced good today, and I expect them to play well."
Linebacker Brian Cushing (ribs/knee) did not practice Wednesday but will play at Cincinnati. Defensive end Tim Bulman (calf), who has been inactive for the last two games, also did not practice.
Fullback Lawrence Vickers (hamstring) did practice and is on track to play after a two-game absence. Kubiak called Vickers' return "huge" for the Texans' running game, which utilized Vickers as a lead blocker in two-back sets.