Andre Johnson returns to practice

AP

Texans receiver Andre Johnson injured a hamstring during a Week Four game against the Steelers.  He hasn’t played since.

But as the Texans prepare to face the suddenly rejuvenated Jaguars, who could close the gap between the two teams to one game with a win, one of Houston’s biggest problems could soon be solved:  Johnson has returned to practice.

“He went the whole practice,” coach Gary Kubiak said Wednesday, via comments distributed by the team.  “It’s a huge step forward.  It’s just good to get him out of working on his own mode and work with the players.  I think it’s going to be a process this week, but there’s obviously a chance [that he’ll play], the fact that he practiced.  It’ll be a day-to-day deal.”

Johnson officially participated on a limited basis.  “I just went out and did a little bit in practice today to see how I feel,” Johnson said.  “I wouldn’t say I felt great.  I didn’t feel how I expected I would feel, but I was able to go out and make a few plays.  We just keep taking it one day at a time.”

Johnson said he feels some “tugging” when he runs on the leg, which required surgery.  “If I feel the way I feel today, I probably won’t play Sunday, but today is not Sunday,” Johnson said.  “We still have some days ahead of us that we have to work through.  I just keep progressing day by day and see how it feels.”

He said that he’s able to make cuts and run routes, and that the pain arises only when he tries to explode vertically down the field.  And that’s a skill the Texans desperately have missed in the last three weeks, during which the team has gone 1-2.