Johnson sprained the ankle during Week 2, and the injury never healed. He sat out Sunday's 24-23 loss to the Denver Broncos and hasn't practiced this week.
"The biggest thing was just being smart about the situation," Johnson said Friday. "The best thing they felt was for me not to be out there to have something else bad happen, or me to re-injure the ankle, like I've been doing the whole season."
The Texans (5-10) have lost eight of their last nine game, and Johnson said he would have tried to play Sunday if the team had more on the line.
"It's not something I'm happy about," he said. "But at the same time, we have to think about the future, and not about right now. I think it's the best move."
Johnson was named to the Pro Bowl for the fifth time this week, but he's leaning toward sitting out the Jan. 30 game in Hawaii to protect the ankle. Doctors have told Johnson that he'll need "a couple weeks" to recover from the surgery.
Johnson ranks fourth in the NFL in receptions (86) and receiving yards (1,216) this season. He could have become just the eighth receiver in league history to reach 1,300 receiving yards in three consecutive years.
"I just appreciate what he did throughout the season," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "A really special player and a special person. He just needs to get healthy. He's got a lot of great years ahead of him."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press