Johnson and Manning Set to Return
Patrick D. Starr
The Houston Texans in one of their biggest time of need are getting a much-needed boost to their active roster with the apparent return of wide receiver Andre Johnson and safety Danieal Manning.
The Texans have been battling injuries all season, get back two big parts of the team on both sides of the ball. With the two coming back the Texans should be in a prime spot to chase the AFC South crown.
Head Coach Gary Kubiak said this on Friday about Manning:
"He’s ready to go. He’s going to play, guys. He’ll start. He’ll play. We will try to keep a play count on him so it doesn’t get out of hand, but it’s been amazing and can’t hold him back. He’s ready to go.”
It is amazing to see the recovery of Manning since injuring his leg against the Tennessee Titans in week 7 on an interception. With the recent play of Troy Nolan,the upgrade at the position might not be noticeable considering how well Nolan has been playing in his absence. Manning was making plays before his injury with interceptions (2) and sure tackling from the secondary. Brought in from the Chicago Bears via free agency, he has provided leadership and stability in a once questionable secondary.
The Texans offense also get a much-needed boost with Andre Johnson coming back since hurting is hamstring in week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Coach Kubiak had this to say about Johnson returning this Sunday:
“Well, it’s been good for the team just to have him back out here. I can see how hungry he is to get back to be a part of what’s going on. He’s practiced good this week. Ya’ll know what Andre means to this team and for him to be putting the uniform on again on Sunday, he hasn’t done it in a while, so it will mean a lot to the team.”
Johnson before his injury had 25 catches for 352 yards and 2 touchdowns in 3 1/2 games. He was primed for a big season before his hamstring injury, but now he declares himself 100% and a playmaker back into the fold to help ease the burden on offense with Matt Leinart now taking over for the injured Matt Schaub.
Johnson back on the field will be a nice addition and give opposing teams a new situation to deal with him commanding so much respect on the outside. With him returning the Texans morale gets a huge lift, and it could have not come at a better time.
With only 6 games left of the 2011 season, Manning and Johnson are a sight for sore eyes. How much they will play is yet to be seen, but the coming back in uniform could prove vital in the home stretch of the 2011 season. This could prove the difference maker in the Texans claiming their first AFC title in franchise history.