Texans wide receiver has made rapid improvement since injuring his hamstring on Oct. 2, but it’s still unclear when he’ll return to the lineup.
Johnson had minor surgery on his right leg two weeks ago to remove scar tissue that was causing pain behind his knee.
“When I’m out there running now, I don’t feel that pain anymore, so that’s a good thing,” Johnson said Tuesday morning on SportsRadio 610 AM. “They say it could take up to six weeks at the most, but I don’t think it’ll take me that long.”
Six weeks would put Johnson’s recovery date right at the Texans’ bye week on Nov. 20. The five-time Pro Bowler already has missed games against the Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens, both losses.
On Monday, Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Johnson “made a lot of improvement last week” in his rehab. Johnson hasn’t been ruled out of Sunday’s game at Tennessee, but he said his hamstring is not at full strength.
“You really can’t put a timetable on it, it’s just whenever it feels back to normal,” he said. “Right now, it’s still weak. It’s not as strong as it used to be. I still can’t run full-speed yet, but I am out on the field running. I’ve tried to run full-speed, but I’m just taking it day by day.”
Johnson, who still leads the Texans in catches (25) and receiving yards (352), is anxious after missing the last two-and-a-half games and watching the Texans go from 3-1 to 3-3.
“Yesterday was a little frustrating when I was doing my rehab, just seeing what the team is going through right now and I’m not being able to play,” he said. “I want to be back on the field so bad, so I got a little frustrated yesterday. Today makes two weeks since I had my procedure, and everybody’s like, ‘You’re doing so well’ because a lot of people who just had regular hamstring pulls are not doing what I’m doing right now. So I’m heading in the right direction, man. I just wish it could heal faster.”
Kubiak said the Texans will increase Johnson’s workload and that he could return to practice before the end of the week. If that happens, Kubiak said “there’s always a chance” Johnson plays against the Titans in a game for first place in the AFC South.
“He’s got a look in his eye, so we’ll just see how the week goes,” Texans quarterback said on Monday on SportsRadio 610. “I know he’s progressing well, so we’ll just have to see. Whoever’s out there ready to play, we’re going to go get after it.”