The Texans are on the verge of their most anticipated season ever. This team — if healthy — is a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
The “if healthy” is the big part.
Let’s face it: Minus Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson or Jonathan Joseph, this is not a Super Bowl team.
So it was no shock Texans world freaked out when Johnson tweaked his groin on the second day of practice and will sit out for likely a week.
The bad news? Johnson has had two hamstring injuries, a knee injury and now a groin in the last year. The Texans simply aren’t the same team without him.
Regardless, here are the five dumbest things we’ve heard since Andre’s injury:
1) Trade for Pittsburgh’s Mike Wallace. This is simply silly. Wallace is a restricted free agent, and the Steelers will likely get a deal done. The Texans already have cap issues and have to re-sign Connor Barwin, Duane Brown and Schaub next year. The Texans already had to jettison DeMeco Ryans, Jacoby Jones and Eric Winston to just clear this year’s cap. This isn’t fantasy football where you have no salary cap. A) The Steelers won’t trade Wallace. B) The Texans can’t afford him. To even suggest it is just plain stupid.
2) Sign Terrell Owens. Yes, four years ago, sure. But we are talking about a player who missed all of last year and just got cut by an arena league team. There is a reason he is begging for work. If you want to make a case for a veteran receiver, try Plaxico Burress, who wasn’t awful last year after a near two-year layoff.
3) Andre’s injury is not that serious, so there is no reason to worry. No, it’s not serious. But you have to worry about a 31-year-old whose last three injuries have been non-contact. The man is a gamer and a great player. But he’s also got injury issues. Yes, worry.
4) The Texans can survive just fine without Andre. In stretches, yes. But if he is out nine games again, it will affect an offense that has no quality wideout behind him. The rookies might develop, but that’s asking a lot for a team that is talking Super Bowl. And while Schaub is solid, he’s not a Tom Brady who can turn any guy off the streets into a good WR.
5) The Texans can assimilate any player into their system. Yeah? How did that work out with Jacoby Jones? Kevin Walter? Talent still wins in the NFL. This false hope that some receiver will be magically transformed by Gary Kubiak’s system is simply ridiculous.
So what does this all mean?
At least Johnson was hurt early in camp. He has plenty of time to recover. There are few viable options out there, although I would take another look at Roy Williams and bring in Burress for a workout. No one will replace Andre, but if he is out for an extended time, you aren’t trying to replace him. You are trying to replace Lestar Jean.
Just don’t be silly and go all Wallace or T.O. The sky isn’t falling yet. But you should be worried about what happens when it does.