On Tuesday this week, former Houston Texans offensive lineman Chester Pitts had a charity bowling event here in town.
Among the celebrity guest lists were several of Pitts's former Texans teammates like Brian Cushing and Duane Brown. Also included in the advertised copy was wide receiver Andre Johnson. It was at a check donation for a local charity where Johnson first expressed his outward dissatisfaction with his current situation with the Texans a few months ago, so naturally the media showed up in droves to get what they hoped would be the next big soundbite.
Unfortunately, much the same way it's been throughout minicamp and OTA's, Andre Johnson was a no-show.
As it turns out, he wasn't in Houston at all on Tuesday. He was in Portland, Oregon, for a Nike event, and while that allowed him to duck the media at Pitts's charity event, Johnson couldn't escape the long arm of NFL.com.
Since he's been a no-show thus far for every Texans offseason training event of any sort, the natural question is whether Andre Johnson will be in uniform when the Texans open training camp in a few weeks. When posed the question by Marcus Smith of NFL Media, Johnson said, "Hopefully. We'll see what happens. Training camp's three weeks away, so we'll see what happens."
When further pressed on whether or not he'd be in the lineup for the season opener on September 7 against the Washington Redskins, Johnson expounded (term used very loosely), "I don't know. I can't answer that question."
Johnson went on to remind the media of his long-standing policy of keeping personal business personal: "I haven't been public about anything. I just choose not to talk publicly about it. It's in-house and that's the way I choose to keep it. I'm not a big media guy, so I refuse to talk about it."
(NOTE: No mention was made by Johnson as to whether his credo on keeping his private business private applies to his uncle or not.)
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
At this point, with a little more than two weeks until camp begins, no major damage has been done. Yes, Andre Johnson should have been in mini-camp, especially in light of the fact that he has a new coaching staff, a new playbook and a new quarterback to break in, not to mention he's the highest-paid player on the team and a captain ("C" on the jersey and all).
All those elements have been basically shat upon. Yet still, it's Andre Johnson, so everyone on the team will publicly and probably privately give him the benefit of the doubt.
The question remains, and even with his uncle blabbing to the world a month or so ago, we still don't know -- what exactly is causing all this?
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.