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Johnathan Joseph out of Houston Texans-Detroit Lions

The Houston Texans face the challenge of shutting down Detroit Lions star wide receiver Calvin Johnson. They'll have to do that without their best cornerback.

NFL.com's Albert Breer reported Thursday that Johnathan Joseph has been ruled out of the Thanksgiving game with the strained hamstring he suffered during Sunday's overtime win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Joseph described the injury as a "slight pull" this week.

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For the Lions, defensive tackle Corey Williams has been ruled out with a knee injury, Breer reported. Free safety Louis Delmas (knee) will be active for Detroit after returning to practice this week, but the Lions ruled out Jeff Backus (hamstring), snapping the left tackle's third-longest consecutive games streak for an active player at 186.

Joseph's absence is no small loss for a Texans secondary that allowed Justin Blackmon to explode for seven catches for 236 yards in Week 11. Alan Ball likely will step in for Joseph across from Kareem Jackson.

Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has done a masterful job this season of masking the absence of star linebacker Brian Cushing, but pulling Joseph out of his secondary creates problems for Houston. Problems Megatron and the Lions will look to take advantage of.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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