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Texans New Starter Suffers Lung Contusion in Loss At Colts

Texans' Terrence Brooks suffers lung contusion, Lonnie Johnson back in

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Houston Texans' revolving door at safety spun around again Sunday afternoon during a frustrating 31-3 road loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Terrence Brooks replaced Lonnie Johnson Jr, in the starting lineup Sunday after Johnson intercepted the first two passes of his career in consecutive games against the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills.

However, the former Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens safety didn't stay on the field for very long.

Brooks injured his chest while allowing a 51-yard touchdown pass to Colts wide receiver Parris Campbell. Brooks was ruled out for the remainder of the game with a lung contusion after being examined in the blue medical tent and was replaced by Johnson. Brooks was expected to remain in Indianapolis overnight as a precautionary measure and he has already been ruled out for next Sunday's road game against the Arizona Cardinals.

"The only one significant injury, Terrence Brooks has a lung contusion," Texans coach David Culley said. "I know this, he will not play next week. They're going to keep him up here and make sure everything is good."

Meanwhile, Johnson was haunted by the man who has tormented the Texans for years: wide receiver T.Y. Hilton.

Hilton raced away from Johnson for a 52-yard reception that led to a field goal.

A former second-round draft pick from Kentucky, Johnson is now back with the first-team defense by default.

Johnson displayed frustration after tight end Mo Alie-Cox found a seam between him and cornerback Desmond King for a 28-yard touchdown catch that boosted the Colts’ lead to 17-3 in the third quarter.

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The Texans - admitting now they are "undisciplined'' - still haven’t solved their puzzle at the other safety position next to standout Justin Reid, a pending unrestricted free agent. Since replacing Eric Murray with Johnson and then Brooks and now going back to Johnson, they’re still having troublesome coverage issues.

“Mentally, doing the right things back there, we've had some breakdowns and we're trying to find the person, whoever it is that's back there, that's going to be consistent for us,” Culley said. “We're still searching for that."

Texans defensive coordinator Lovie Smith had forecasted that Johnson could have his playing time impacted, saying days before kickoff the team will continue to look for the right combination.

The constant in the secondary is Reid.

Physically imposing and fast at 6-foot-2, 213 pounds, Johnson has the requisite attributes and talent to be an effective safety. Whether he’ll ultimately put it all together remains to be seen as Brooks replaced him in the starting lineup Sunday. Johnson was informed of the decision early last week.

"Well, he went in to start because we're still trying to find that other spot at safety,” Culley said. “We feel like we need to get the consistency out of it. We've basically tried everybody we have. We're still searching for that combination. That's what went into it."

Texans defensive end Jon Greenard emphasized that everyone can be replaced on a team and defense in flux. The 1-5 Texans only have one defensive player who’s been selected to the Pro Bowl and not as an alternate: King in 2018.

“It’s the league, you've always got to be on your toes,” Greenard said. “You can't get too comfortable. I think him enforcing that and holding us to that standard, I think that's good. If I'm not making my plays, then so be it. Someone else got to go in there and make some plays. I'm all for it. It's the next man up mentality.”