Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson only played seven games in 2011 because of injuries, a number he topped Sunday by playing in his eighth game of the season.
Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle reports that Johnson credits a new between game routine for keeping him on the field this season. Johnson is taking fewer reps in practice, doing more stretching and getting regular massages in hopes of being as fresh as possible on Sundays.
It didn’t look like the approach was working all that well through the first five weeks of the season. After catching eight balls in the opener, Johnson had just nine catches in the next four games and looked like a less dangerous receiver than he’s been at earlier points in his career. Things have turned around since then as Johnson has 25 catches in his last three games, including eight for 118 yards in Sunday’s win. The Texans had stretches of ineffective play on offense Sunday, but Matt Schaub found Johnson to keep the chains moving on several occasions during the 21-9 win.
Johnson’s burst of productivity has him closing in on the top 25 in NFL history in receptions and the top 30 in receiving yardage, numbers that he said don’t mean as much to him as the fact that the team is 7-1 halfway through the 2012 season.
“The only time I find out about stats is when I talk to the media,” Johnson said. “It’s an accomplishment, a great accomplishment, but winning is the thing.”
It felt at times on Sunday that the Texans were doing just enough to come out of the game with a victory. That won’t be enough to win against the Bears next Sunday, which makes it a good thing that Johnson is riding a hot streak into the marquee matchup of Week 10.