Johnson's recovery key for Texans

Johnson's recovery key for Texans
September 23, 2013, 6:16 pm
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Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, left, speaks with field judge Scott Edwards in the second half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

(APWF)

HOUSTON (AP) For the second straight week, all eyes will be on the recovery of Andre Johnson.

The Texans' star receiver recovered from a concussion suffered against the Titans to play in Sunday 30-9 loss to the Ravens, only to be forced out of the game with a shin bruise in the first half.

Johnson was examined Monday and is ``OK,'' according to Texans coach Gary Kubiak, but Johnson will be day to day as the Texans prepare for the unbeaten Seahawks.

``He did come out OK,'' Kubiak said Monday. ``All the X-rays are fine so it's just a matter of working him back through it. It's just the matter of a day-to-day process.''

Having Johnson back would help Houston address some of issues that led to Sunday's sobering loss. The Texans were their own worst enemy as they set a franchise record for penalties (14 for 113), and allowed two non-offense touchdowns.

In the first half, Ravens linebacker Daryl Smith intercepted Matt Schaub and cashed in on a 37-yard touchdown return for a 10-6 lead. Less than two minutes later, Baltimore's Tandon Doss broke through Houston's special teams for an 82-yard punt return TD.

Fixing the mistakes and putting up big plays are points Kubiak is looking to work on. Eliminating penalties comes down to preparation and concentration.

``Somehow we've got to get some consistency, get rid of those mistakes and play the type of football game we want to play,'' Kubiak said. ``We've got to find a way to make some bigger plays than what we're making.''

Creating more big plays is a more complex task.

To do that, Kubiak pointed to giving Schaub more time. Against the Ravens, Houston was without Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown. With Derek Newton and Ryan Harris manning the edges, the Texans were under siege from Baltimore's defense throughout the game.

Kubiak said Brown was back on the field Monday, but is still day to day, meaning Harris and Newton could have to carry the load once again against the strong Seattle defense.

``They battled. They battled some good players there. We could help them,'' Kubiak said. ``I think Ryan came in and battled his tail off. Ryan can play better. I know Newton can play better.''

The issues were not all on the offensive line. The Texans' execution in the play-action passing game and the ability to be more balanced between run and pass also factor into the big-play equation.

All of this, however, leads to a tough reality. Three games into the season the Texans are working on the same issues heading into a tough portion of their schedule.

``I don't think we've played a good team game from start to finish,'' Kubiak said. ``We've been inconsistent. We've turned the ball over. It's about consistency and finding a way to make plays.

``The biggest thing is if we're going to put ourselves in those situations, we're going to struggle.''

Kubiak gave positive marks for Ed Reed's performance, saying the safety will continue to be the starter.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org