OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 21: Andre Johnson #80 of the Houston Texans is tackled by Hiram Eugene #31 of the Oakland Raiders during an NFL game on December 21, 2008 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Andre Johnson;Hiram Eugene
All scoring, no D. The Texans are basically the 1980s San Diego Chargers in USFL uniforms.
But that elite Texans offense may be without its best wide receiver against the Raiders. The Houston Chronicle reports that a sprained ankle kept Andre Johnson out of practice again Thursday, and he may not play Sunday.
Johnson is a four-time Pro Bowler who has led the league in receiving both of the last two years. He's kind of important to the Texans.
Johnson sprained the ankle in week two against the Redskins, and then further aggravated it last week in a loss to the Dallas Cowboys. He has not fully participated in practice all week.
Raiders coach Tom Cable sounds certain his team will face Andre Johnson.
"He very much will play. There’s no doubt in our minds," Cable told the Oakland Tribune. "We don’t even look at it that way. If we did, it really wouldn’t change anything. It may free up a couple of guys to maybe get more involved in some things. He’s going to play so there’s no thought of that."
As of Friday afternoon, Johnson is listed as a game-time decision. The Raiders won't know for sure if he's playing until the game starts.
Most Bay Area Raiders fans won't know if Johnson is playing until well after the game starts. They'll be stuck watching Colts-Jaguars or else the Vick-McNabb showdown because the Raiders game is not sold out and will be blacked-out locally.
The radio broadcast of Raiders-Texans is on Live 105 on your FM dial and 1550 KFRC on the AM band. An on-demand video replay of the game will be available at NFL.com beginning at 9 p.m. PDT Sunday night.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who wishes the network would "mike up" Raiders receiver Louis Murphy against the Texans' charming conversationalist Bernard Pollard.