Texans' Johnson has 'mild' hamstring injury, status uncertain

HOUSTON -- Texans coach Gary Kubiak says it's too early to know if the left hamstring injury suffered by Andre Johnson will keep the star receiver out of Sunday's game at Cincinnati.

Johnson pulled up in the third quarter of Sunday's 17-10 win over Atlanta as he was chasing down a deep pass from rookie T.J. Yates, who was making his first NFL start. The five-time Pro Bowl selection was playing his second game after missing the previous six with a right hamstring injury that required minor surgery.

An MRI exam Monday showed that Johnson's latest hamstring issue was far less severe than the last one, as was expected.

"We're very fortunate," Kubiak said. "He's day to day. I'll probably give you a better answer once we give him a couple of days here, and get to Wednesday. But we do expect him back, hopefully sooner than later."

The Texans still couldn't get through a game without sustaining another season-ending injury.

Punter Brett Hartmann caught his left foot in the turf and tore his left anterior cruciate ligament late in the game. An undrafted rookie out of Central Michigan, Hartmann beat out veteran Brad Maynard in training camp, and he booted a franchise-record 69-yard punt in a victory over Miami in Week 2.

"Very unfortunate for him, he was really having a good year," Kubiak said. "We'll have to replace him here in the next couple of days."

Hartmann was also kicking off, and set a Texans record with six touchbacks in the season opener against Indianapolis. Kubiak said kicker Neil Rackers will handle kickoffs for now, unless the Texans sign a punter this week who can handle both jobs. Kubiak says the Texans may consider veteran Matt Turk, who was cut by Jacksonville in October. Turk played for Houston from 2007-10.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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