Once upon a time, Texans WR Andre Johnson was the best receiver in the game, but after suffering a series of hamstring injuries, he seems to have lost a step.
Johnson isn’t getting any younger at 31 years old, but at a time when receivers still can perform at a top notch level at his age, his injuries may have caught up to him sooner than anticipated.
Johnson’s stats have dropped across the board since 2008, but again, mostly because of his health.
But now, he has another factor against him: Arian Foster.
There was a time when he benefited from the offensive playbook as the Texans were more pass friendly before the emergence of Foster.
Foster has gotten 25+ carries in all but one game and that was last week. Of course, this opened up the opportunity for Johnson to catch eight balls while being targeted 12 times.
So essentially, Houston has become a run oriented offense. Foster has been doing it all for them and he has carried them to success. He has scored a touchdown in 10 straight games. When the Texans have an MVP candidate that is producing like Foster has been, who would want to take the ball out his hands? Go with the hot hand.
It’s not looking great for Johnson to return to the fantasy darling he once was. The only way it will happen is if Foster suffers a serious injury or Houston simply gets away from their running formula. In hindsight, he is the Justin Verlander of that team, or even of the entire NFL. The man is a workhorse.
It’s a tough deal, because Johnson appears to be as healthy as he ever was. But the Texans are rolling with Foster as long as he’s still in his prime. Besides, running backs have a short shelf life. He’s being milked for all he’s worth.
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