Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 7/30/12

Perhaps the theme of the Houston Texans’ 2011 season was injuries and what could have been if the team stayed healthy heading into their first ever playoff appearance. The injury bug made its early appearance yesterday at Texans training camp in a minor fashion, taking down several players and setting back a few others.

The most notable of these players is wide receiver Andre Johnson, who left practice for an MRI that revealed a groin strain. According to Johnson and Texans’ training staff, the former Pro Bowl WR should be back in a week or so. While not exactly the most worrisome injury, Johnson is developing quite the laundry list when it comes to nicks and bruises. AJ missed nine games in 2011 due to hamstring pulls in both legs then underwent arthroscopic knee surgery that forced him to miss all of the team’s organized offseason activities. Again, Johnson should be fine and ready after a week’s rest, but it does make Texans fans slightly weary to hear their star receiver is sidelined once again. 

Also missing time Sunday and for the near future is starting cornerback Kareem Jackson, who suffered a minor hamstring injury. Similar to Johnson, Jackson is expected to miss minimal time, most likely not more than a day or two. When asked about his hamstring, Jackson replied to reporters that it was, “Not nothing serious. (We’re) just preventing it from being a serious issue, just kind of taking it easy a little bit. Nothing to be worried about.”

Then came the slightly more serious news that ILB Darryl Sharpton suffered a setback in his rehab Sunday. Sharpton is recovering from a season ending quadriceps injury he sustained in late October of last season. Head coach Gary Kubiak went at length to explain Sharpton’s situation, stating, “We’re trying to get him to the point where he’s ready to work with the team, so we pushed him really hard (Sunday morning). We were going to push him today and tomorrow again. That’s what we normally do with players that show us for three days that you can practice like the normal guys and work with the trainers, and then we’ll turn you loose with the team. It’s kind of been one thing after another for him. I feel bad for him. He’s worked really hard. Hopefully, this isn’t too bad.”

There were other notes from practice that did not involve player injuries. First, the team cut undrafted rookie NT Tracy Robertson out of Baylor, reducing their roster to 88 players, which remains just shy of the training camp maximum of 90. 

Several familiar faces stood out on Sunday, including rookie OLB Whitney Mercilus. A number of the young receivers have also stepped up, particularly in the absence of AJ, namely those you would hope and expect: Keshawn Martin, DeVier Posey, and Lestar Jean, who has stepped into the first-team huddle to fill the void temporarily open. Kubiak also threw out praise for second-year cornerback Brandon Harris, noting his steady improvement throughout the offseason. 

The Texans will get back to work on Monday, their first day wearing shoulder pads. If there was any lack of intensity through the first two days of practice (and there really wasn’t), then Monday is going to see the entire team take it up a notch with the introduction of live contact.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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