If Johnathan Joseph can't go on Thursday, Wade Phillips says Alan Ball will start in his place. This shouldn't surprise Texans fans. It also shouldn't inspire us. In fact, the thought of Alan Ball starting at corner and being anywhere in the same vicinity as Calvin Johnson has the exact opposite effect of inspiring me. That's a classy and subtle way of saying I soil myself at the mere thought of it happening.
Alan Ball has been excellent on special teams this year. Truly, he has. He hasn't had to play much corner, and that's a good thing, because he looked positively wretched throughout the preseason when he lined up as a defensive back. While it's possible Ball has settled in since the preseason, we can't know that, and the fact that he fails to sniff the field when the Texans trot their dime package out does not exactly give me confidence.
J-Jo is not ever expendable. But with a matchup against Calvin Johnson looming, with Kareem Jackson coming off a performance that could have been lifted from his 2009 highlight reel, and with Alan Ball as Joseph's purported replacement in the starting lineup? Johnathan Joseph is now SUPERUNEXPENDABLE.
I'm going to open this up to discussion. If Johnathan Joseph plays, how do you think the Texans will attempt to cover Calvin Johnson? If J-Jo doesn't play (these pants are ruined!), what will Wade do to address Megatron in that scenario?