- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 5, 2011

HOUSTON — The Houston Texans think they are well-equipped for life without Andre Johnson.

The All-Pro receiver will miss Sunday’s game against Oakland and an unspecified amount of time after a minor procedure to repair a right hamstring injury.

Coach Gary Kubiak said the Texans will be “missing a heck of a player” against the Raiders, but he is confident there is enough offensive firepower to make due.

“When Andre’s on your team, everybody tries to take him away,” Kubiak said Wednesday. “Like I said, we can’t replace Andre. We’ve got to, as a group, try to replace all the production that he adds on the field. That means everybody’s got to pick it up, and we’ll have a chance to prove it.”

Johnson was hurt in the second quarter of Sunday’s 17-10 win over Pittsburgh. Kubiak said he would not put a timetable on Johnson’s return after Tuesday’s procedure.

The Texans also may be without running backs Ben Tate (groin) and Derrick Ward (sprained right ankle) against the Raiders. Foster’s backups, Tate and Ward sat out practice Wednesday, but Kubiak was hopeful that Tate would be ready to play Sunday.

Around the league

JETS: New York wide receiver Plaxico Burress did not practice because of a swollen elbow, but he and the team expect him to play Sunday against the New England Patriots. Center Nick Mangold (sprained ankle) was limited in practice, but he hopes to play after missing the past two games.

BROWNS: Fearing Peyton Hillis was weakened from strep throat and could risk injury, his agent advised Cleveland’s rugged running back not to play Sept. 25 against Miami. Hillis left Browns Stadium about two hours before kickoff, a decision that has led to speculation he was upset over negotiations with the club on a contract extension.

GIANTS: New York signed cornerback Justin Tryon and released cornerback Brian Williams. Entering his fourth season, Tryon started six games with Indianapolis ast season, recording 44 tackles. He had seven tackles in the first three games this season before being waived.

BILLS: Buffalo starting linebacker Nick Barnett (right ankle) expects to play Sunday against Philadelphia despite being held out of practice. Linebacker Shawne Merriman (shoulder) and center Eric Wood (ankle) also did not practice Wednesday, though both are expected to play.

BENGALS: Right guard Bobbie Williams, 35, was reinstated to Cincinnati’s active roster after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. He said he took an over-the-counter diuretic, one that’s banned because it can mask steroid use.

STEELERS: Pittsburgh re-signed offensive tackle Max Starks to a one-year deal hoping the seven-year veteran can provide depth and leadership to an injury-ravaged offensive line that has struggled protecting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

COLTS: Indianapolis guard Jaimie Thomas was suspened for four games by the NFL for violating the substance policy. Thomas, who is on injured reserve, violated the anabolic steroids and related substances policy.

PACKERS: Green Bay wide receiver Jordy Nelson confirmed that he signed a contract extension that will keep him on the team through the 2014 season. Nelson was a second-round pick out of Kansas State in 2008.

CARDINALS: Arizona re-signed punter Ben Graham and released cornerback Korey Lindsey. Graham became the Cardinals punter in December 2008 but was released just before the start of this season. Dave Zastudil (sore knee) has been Arizona’s punter through the first four games.



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