Wednesday notebook: Johnson talks Finnegan, ankle injury


Wide receiver Andre Johnson was flooded with questions about Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan in the Texans' locker room on Wednesday afternoon.

Johnson and Finnegan were ejected and later fined by the NFL for fighting in the fourth quarter of the Texans and Titans' Week 12 game at Reliant Stadium. The two teams meet again on Sunday.

"That's the last thing that's on my mind," Johnson said. "I'm just trying to do whatever I have to do to win a football game. That's pretty much it. The issue with him, I'm not really worried about it."

Finnegan apparently issued an apology to Johnson through a member of the Texans' public relations staff.

"I heard something about that, but I haven't had a chance to talk to him," Johnson said.

Johnson was asked how he would respond if Finnegan quick-jams him at the line of scrimmage on Sunday at LP Field.

"I wouldn't do nothing," Johnson said. "I'll probably just laugh it off. I wouldn't react the way I reacted last time we played against them."

Playing throughJohnson said that even if the Texans are officially eliminated from the playoffs this weekend, he won't sit out the final two games of the season to rest his sprained right ankle.

"I'm going to play the season out," he said. "Like I said before, the only way I probably won't finish the season is if my ankle is broken. Other than that, I've been able to do deal with it this far, so what's the reason to stop playing?"

Johnson, who needs 340 receiving yards to become the first player with 1,500 in three consecutive seasons, does not believe that he will need surgery in the offseason.

"From what I've been hearing, everything has been good," Johnson said. "I took an X-ray after the game Monday night, and everything looked good. There was nothing that we saw on the X-ray that looked discouraging. The only thing that's going to heal it is rest in the offseason."

Like old timesTight end Owen Daniels had five catches for 91 yards on Monday in his return from a five-game absence due to a hamstring injury. He also had a couple of uncharacteristic drops in the first half.

Aside from those gaffes, Daniels was happy with his overall performance. He said that his hamstring was a non-issue and that he felt as much like his old self as he had all season.

"I felt great," he said. "My body felt great. It was just kind of getting into the game, getting into the speed of the game again. I had a good week of practice, but you can only simulate so much in practice, and they're a fast defense as it is. So just to get back into that type of rhythm, it didn't take too long at all. As the game went along, I felt really good."

Picking up the piecesWednesday was the first time the Texans practiced since their 34-28 overtime loss to Baltimore on Monday night, a game that essentially ended their playoff chances.

"I tried to get rid of the long faces today and get back to work," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "Obviously, we're beat up from a very physical football game less than 48 hours ago, so today we took a mental approach… We are just trying to get ourselves going."

Quarterback Matt Schaub said that despite the bleak outlook for the rest of the season, it won't be difficult for the Texans to keep their focus and resolve.

"We're still going to have that," he said. "We have enough guys in our locker room that are veteran enough to not let that happen. It's up to each individual to get in their game plans and understand what we're going to do, go out and fight for each other and for this team, and that's what we're going to do."

After a 9-7 finish last season, the Texans had their eyes on making the playoffs for the first time in team history.

"It's tough," Johnson said. "We had big expectations for this season, and we didn't live up to those expectations. All we could do now is try to win these last three games that we have left on the schedule. I don't think no one's packing it up. I think that with the way we do things around here, we're going to fight 'til the end. We're going to give it our best shot for these last three games."

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