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Texans expect WR Johnson to play despite missed practices

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Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson continues to make strides in his recovery from a hamstring injury and, barring a setback, the team expects him to be available Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, according to league sources.

Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Thursday that he hasn't ruled out Johnson, who missed his second consecutive practice. Kubiak also said the five-time Pro Bowl receiver was feeling better, but the team didn't believe he was ready to practice.

Johnson went through an intense Monday workout that left him sore and caused him to miss the Wednesday and Thursday practices. Kubiak expects Johnson to return to practice Friday.

"I'm not scared to play Andre if he doesn't practice," Kubiak said. "He knows what's going on. This is strictly about his health and how he's feeling."

Johnson was injured Oct. 2 against the Pittsburgh Steelers and had a minor procedure to repair the right hamstring early the next week. He has missed four consecutive games, and the Texans lost the first two without him before winning their last two.

With Johnson out, the Texans have just four healthy receivers on their roster. Jacoby Jones has been starting opposite Kevin Walter while Johnson recovers, and the Texans also have Derrick Mason and Bryant Johnson.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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