The Houston Texans are expected to have the services of both WR Andre Johnson and RB Arian Foster when they face the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday afternoon, according to media reports. Both are likely to play against Dallas despite missing practice time during the week.
Johnson, 33, was seen as more of a doubt as the twelve-year veteran missed most of the team's practices during the week while battling an ankle injury. He was listed as 'questionable' on the team's injury report, but is now fully expected to play Sunday.
Foster, meanwhile, continues to deal with a balky hamstring that limited him in last week's win over the Buffalo Bills. Additionally, Foster, 28, missed Houston's week 3 loss to the New York Giants with the injury. Andre Johnson is expected to play Sunday.
Johnson, who has 22 receptions for 262 yards on the season, has a decent matchup against a beatable Dallas secondary. The Cowboys' defense played well, by and large, in last week's win over the New Orleans Saints, and will look to carry that effort over into today's all-Texas showdown in Arlington. Johnson has yet to score a touchdown this season, but remains a vital piece of coach Bill O'Brien's offense, and ranks as the league's twelfth-most targeted receiver through four games.
Foster has a tasty matchup on paper against a Dallas rush defense that is susceptible up the middle. However, it stands to reason that the Tennessee alum may once again be limited in his role on Sunday. Foster carried the ball just 8 times for a meager 6 yards in last week's win over the Bills, adding 55 receiving yards on 10 targets in the passing game. Rookie Alfred Blue should continue to see action while Foster rounds back into health.
Foster, who has a history of hamstring issues throughout his career, absorbed a giant workload through the team's first two games as Houston got off to a 2-0 start under first-year coach O'Brien before the latest scare forced him to sit out a game, and has effectively limited him since. Through 3 games, Foster has 63 carries for 247 yards (3.9 ypc) and a touchdown, with 11 receptions for 84 yards.
Until Arian Foster's health becomes clearer, he may be a risky play, even against a leaky Dallas defensive front. Andre Johnson should be less of a risk Sunday, but should be viewed as no more than a low-end WR2 this week. Owners in need of a boost or alternative should double-check their league's waiver wire.