The Houston Chronicle's Jeffery Martin has a look at possibly the Houston Texan most excited to be playing in Saturday's franchise-first playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals - eight-year Texan Andre Johnson, who is confirmed to be returning to the lineup after multiple hamstring injuries sidelined him throughout the 2011 season.
Johnson, 30, is one of the franchise' graybeard veterans, and expressed his relief at finally making it to the playoffs after a career filled with individual accolades:
"I’ve got some slack I’ve got to make up," he said. "I’m not going to sit here and say that somebody is going to pay for it, but I’ll be playing at a high level — I can promise you that."
Despite playing in only seven games this season, Johnson is considered an unquestioned team leader for the Texans, and after putting up gaudy career stats - 9,656 yards and 52 touchdowns - he'll make his playoff debut Saturday. Gushed head coach Gary Kubiak:
"Think about how long he’s stuck it out here in Houston," the coach said. "A lot of guys in this day and time move along, go somewhere else, lose their patience. Andre has never done that. He’s been a rock around here, even though it’s been a very, very difficult year for him.