Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson missed the first week of practice and Houston’s preseason opener due to a groin injury. This was somewhat concerning because Johnson is no longer a spring chicken at age 31, and he’s missed 12 games due to injury over the past two seasons.
But Johnson started Saturday night’s second preseason game against San Francisco and looked terrific. Though his playing time was limited to a couple of possessions, Johnson defeated double coverage to secure a 43-yard reception in the first half. He finished with two grabs for 49 yards, gaining six on a drag route for his first catch of the game.
Notably, Johnson lined up in the slot on the Texans’ first three plays from scrimmage. He’s been mostly an outside receiver throughout his career. Playing in the slot could make Johnson more of a matchup problem and cause defenses to change their coverage looks on the fly.
Johnson was pulled early in an effort to keep him healthy. Lestar Jean replaced him with the first-team offense, and caught a nine-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Schaub in the second quarter.