Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 6/13/12

ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Head coach Gary Kubiak of the Houston Texans looks on during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on November 1, 2009 in Orchard Park, New York. Houston won 31-10. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
HOUSTON -- Under the cover of oppressive and unrelenting early-summer heat, where organized team activities and mini-camps aren't subject to intense scrutiny, the Texans continue the process of seeking a complement to their foremost franchise player: receiver Andre Johnson. There are plenty who believe that this pressing need could have -- should have -- been addressed during the draft. Even before the Texans selected DeVier Posey and Keshawn Martin in the third and fourth rounds, respectively, what had been made obvious was that Jacoby Jones had fallen out of favor and wasn't long for the franchise. So given that forgone conclusion and the recent, troubling injury history of Johnson, who has missed 12 of the last 32 regular-season games, the Texans are deserving of mild criticism for being in the position to pin their hopes for receiver depth on Mike Sims-Walker, in the midst of a three-day tryout with the Texans as they cycle through their mini-camp. The same Sims-Walker whose early-season jettisoning in 2011 by the Rams served as the meat in a turn-in-your-playbook sandwich, with the Jaguars providing both slices of bread. At once point Sims-Walker, 27, was ascendant, his 63-catch, 869-yard season in 2009 presumably the foundation for a bright future. But unreliable hands and his own checkered injury history led Sims-Walker to Reliant Stadium this week, with designs on providing some veteran depth to flesh out a receiving corps sorely lacking in experience behind Johnson and Kevin Walter. "It's a big opportunity," Sims-Walker said. "A lot of young guys; a couple big vets in Andre and Kevin Walter. Just trying to help any way I can. Whatever role they give me, I'm just going to take it on." The Texans can no long pretend that what they have is sufficient, or at least enough to suppress legitimate concern. Their fondness for second-year receiver Lestar Jean, an undrafted free agent out of Florida Atlantic, is sincere and emboldening. But like Posey and Martin, Jean has yet to catch an NFL pass. No matter his promise, that uncertainty is unnerving. Complicating matters are these facts: Johnson had his knee scoped and is currently sidelined, and while Walter serves a fine complement to dynamic receivers, he is unlikely to provide much more than that. Both are 30, with Johnson fighting nobly to shake the injury bug while Walter labors to shed the label that he is a better blocker than pass catcher. "I'm just trying to evaluate (Sims-Walker) here over a three-day period and hopefully we can see if we have a spot for him and if we think he is physically fit and ready to do it," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "It's been a good two days. I have to look at him (Thursday), but it will be a decision that we'll make next week." That the Texans haven't found an answer behind Johnson and Walter among their younger receivers has facilitated their need to scrutinize Sims-Walker. Kubiak acknowledged that a distinguished No. 3 receiver has yet to emerge, calling Posey "inconsistent" based in part on the time Posey missed serving a suspension as a senior at Ohio State. For all the touting of Jean, Kubiak revealed as OTAs concluded that Jean hasn't separated himself from the pack. In June, that isn't too much of an issue. However, it won't be June forever. At some point the Texans must discover an answer for who fills in best behind Johnson and Walter. The questions plaguing the right side of their offensive line, debilitated with the losses of Eric Winston and Mike Brisiel, are pressing enough. If the Texans can't find a viable third receiver from their motley mix, their dreams of an explosive offense, even with Matt Schaub back at the controls, would be deferred. After last season's AFC South title and tantalizing playoff run, any call for additional patience would be grating. "Bottom line, none of them have been in games and so that's going to be a concern until we get going," Kubiak said. "The picture looks different when Andre is out here and Kevin is out here and you have those veterans leading the way. Throughout the course of these OTAs (and mini-camp) it's strictly young guys (plus the addition of Sims-Walker). "That's a concern. It's something we'll continue to address with our team as we move forward." Follow me on Twitter @moisekapenda
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