Last Sunday, Andre Johnson aggravated the right ankle sprain he originally suffered against the Redskins in Week Two. 'Dre says he does not have "any doubts at all" about playing on Sunday in Oakland. While you can't question his toughness, should Kubes (or the medical staff) keep him off the field this week in an effort to let him heal?
First, here's a bit about the injury 'Dre is dealing with (scroll down to the section entitled "High Ankle Sprains"), via the website of an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in treating foot and ankle injuries. In short, and as you probably already knew, high ankle sprains are generally much more serious injuries than the typical ankle sprain. As a result, high ankle sprains take much longer to heal; the link above cites a study that found "the average recovery time for these injuries was more than 40 days" and notes that they are usually treated, at least initially, with a walking boot or cast.
Yet, at least for several hours on Sunday, Andre Johnson wouldn't be in a walking boot or cast. He'd be in cleats. Running. Cutting. Getting tackled. Not exactly the ideal healing process, even for a superhuman like 'Dre. Plus, it's not like this is a playoff game; there's another fourteen (14) games (and hopefully more, if a man can dream) to play after this week.
Thus, what should your Houston Texans do on Sunday? Send Andre Johnson out there on that bad ankle? Force him to sit this contest out for the long-term good of both 'Dre and the team, gambling that the Texans can move the ball on the Raiders without the best wide receiver in the game? Or is there a third option? Namely, running 'Dre out there as a decoy, so Oakland (and presumably Nnamdi Asomugha) has to account for him?
Personally, I'd keep 'Dre tethered to the sidelines, but my livelihood isn't tied to the Texans winning football games. Mental health, yes, but not livelihood. If I was Gary Kubiak, I'd probably employ the third option. What would you do if you were in Kubes' shoes? Express yourself in the poll and the Comments.Texans vs Raiders coverage