2011 NFL Week 4: Andre Johnson and Week 4's Key Injuries

Joye PruittSenior Analyst IOctober 3, 2011

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 02: Wide receiver Andre Johnson #80 of the Houston Texans breaks the tackled of safety Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers on October 2, 2011 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.Texans won 17 to 10. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

This is football. Whether we like it or not, our favorite players may be seen congratulating their teammates at the end of the game or limping off after a down. As unpredictably rocky as this game can be, there are going to be injuries and those injuries are not solely targeting the unknowns on your fantasy squad.

The Pittsburgh Steelers, aka “Team Old Guys”, have not been playing like they crave a return to the Super Bowl. As a matter of fact, the team has not even been playing as if it was just in the Super Bowl.

While the Green Bay Packers come away from the lockout polished and ready to go, the Steelers have been struggling to find their identity defensively and offensively. Surely, starting QB Ben Roethlisberger’s injury to his left foot will make it all better. Big Ben has played through broken noses and a broken foot before.

Injuries are not brand new to him and will never be until he somehow shrinks down from his ILB size and refuses to evade defenders as pocket protection breaks down. This is nothing much for fantasy team owners to worry their fierce little heads about. Big Ben’s playing time is not being threatened.

But, it does speak volumes as to the lack of protection he is receiving from the offensive line.

Another key injury from Week 4’s game play was to Houston Texans star receiver Andre Johnson. Johnson is one of the sound reasons the Texans have thwarted competitors on their journey to a 2-1 record coming into their meeting against the “Black and Yellow.”

Coming off of a 128-yard game, the highest of his 2011 season thus far, Johnson racked up 36 yards before leaving out of the game with a no-contact injury that is said by Houston’s head coach, Gary Kubiak, to be hamstring-related. An MRI was expected for Sunday night and results should be churned out by Monday morning.

If the injury sustained by Johnson is anything that would take him out of the game plan for an extended amount of time, the Texans will rely even heavier on their running game which would not come as much of a problem seeing as how Arian Foster seems comfortable and in the swing of things and his replacement Ben Tate has been shaking some screws loose at the position in Foster’s absence accumulating 301 yards this season.

Jerod Mayo, New England Patriots MLB, was also victim to Week 4’s injury bug with a left knee injury that was noticed after he disengaged from Oakland Raiders’ left guard Stefan Wisniewski.

He hobbled a bit before ultimately dropping to the turf and was eventually carted into the lockerroom at halftime. Mayo is one of New England’s most indispensable players, and with the Patriots’ defense heavily criticized for their lack of elite production, losing him will cause the franchise to take a huge shot in the chest, especially pertaining to the run defense.

Oakland was able to run the ball better against the Patriots, and with New England's meeting against the NY Jets around the corner, Coach Rex Ryan will probably be putting the pedal to the medal with the run game to exploit the Patriots’ newfound weakness.