The Indianapolis Colts signed veteran wide receiver Andre Johnson in free agency this past offseason and allowed Reggie Wayne to walk in free agency. It was a move that excited the Colts’ fan base at the time, but now there are major concerns surrounding the move. Johnson has been held without a catch in each of the past two games and there is real concern about whether or not he is washed up.
During the first four games of the season for the Colts, Johnson has caught just seven passes for 51 yards and no touchdowns. Those numbers aren’t going to cut it for what the Colts brought him in to do originally and he has to figure out a way to turn his season around and get back on track.
Can Johnson turn things around this week against the Houston Texans on Thursday Night Football?
First and foremost, Johnson is seeing age take a toll on his game. At 34 years old he simply isn’t as fast and quick as he once was, which will force him to get creative with how to impact the game. During his years with the Texans, he relied on his athleticism to go over the top of defenders to make plays and that simply won’t happen anymore.
Getting things back on track against his former team would be huge for Johnson and would give him the confidence that he needs moving forward. That being said, it isn’t going to be easy for the Colts’ veteran receiver to do that this week.
Houston has a very solid pass rush and their secondary has some talent as well. Johnson isn’t one of the top three targets for Andrew Luck or whoever will end up starting at quarterback if Luck cannot play. T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen and Phillip Dorsett are all players that have seen more production than Johnson over the past two weeks.
Pep Hamilton has to be perplexed about how to get the football into Johnson’s hands this week.
Forcing the football to Johnson early in the game and trying to get him jumpstarted would be one way to try, but the Colts cannot afford to force the football anywhere. This is a huge game against a division opponent and they simply need Johnson to figure things out on the fly in the course of the game.
Learning a new system after so many years with the Texans could be part of the issue for Johnson. It could very well be that he simply isn’t adjusting well to a new situation and he needs time to adapt.
So to answer the question, Johnson should make more of an impact that he has in the past two weeks. He will come away with a few catches and potentially much more than that. Johnson likely isn’t going to put up star caliber numbers, but he showed make a few catches and have a chance to impact the game even more than that.
Expect to see Johnson be much more involved in the game against his former team on Thursday night and to take a big step forward towards getting his season back on the right track.