Andre Johnson assures catches will come

Seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver has just seven receptions for 51 yards in three games with Colts, but insists he isn't concerned.

Andre Johnson doesn't panic in football.

And the Indianapolis Colts wide receiver shared another insight Monday about playing the game.

"I don't play fantasy football," he said with a smile.

Perhaps he's aware fantasy owners have been unhappy about Johnson catching just seven passes for 51 yards in his first three games with the Colts. Or maybe Johnson, 34, just likes to remind he lives in the real world and has been playing in the NFL long enough to not overreact to statistics or jump to conclusions.

Still, the last thing anyone would expect is Johnson to not have a catch in a game. That happened Sunday for just the second time in his 13-year career, the other goose egg back in 2005. He averaged 83 catches for 1,133 yards in a dozen seasons with the Houston Texans. In the one game he played against the Colts last season, he had seven catches for 99 yards and one touchdown.

"You just have to wait your turn. Your time will come," Johnson said one day after the Colts' 35-33 win at Tennessee.

Johnson actually said he knew this could happen when he signed a three-year, $21-million contract with $10 million guaranteed in March. He understood wide receiver T.Y. Hilton was an emerging talent coming off a first Pro Bowl and second-year pro Donte Moncrief had a lot of upside. Moncrief has 17 catches for 200 yards and three TDs while Hilton has 15 receptions for 227 yards.

But the Colts' 1-2 start includes double-digit losses to Buffalo and the New York Jets. In the season opener, Johnson inexplicably dropped a two-point conversion pass. On Sunday, he had a 37-yard reception nullified by a holding penalty.

"I've had my fair share of being the No. 1 guy, catching eight, nine balls a game, stuff like that," Johnson said. "I've experienced that a long time in my career. You know my biggest reason for coming here was to come in and help as much as I can to win games. What's been required of me in the first few games, it hasn't been what it's been for most of my career.

"That's part of it. I'm not upset. I'm here to win."

Johnson and running back Frank Gore, former Miami Hurricanes teammates in college, joined the Colts in part because they thought being with three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Andrew Luck gave them the best chance at a Super Bowl ring.

Luck offers the same confidence that Johnson will eventually make his share of plays.

"He's a great teammate, great attitude, I know I've learned a bunch from him about football through the offseason and this week," Luck said. "He's a great steady influence as a leader for this offense.

"Just because maybe the catches aren't where they are normally for a guy like that doesn't mean he's not helping contribute in a big way. I don't forsee the catches not catching up."

The Colts host the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. His last game for the Texans was against the Jaguars in December, when he caught 10 passes for 134 yards and one touchdown.

When Johnson was released by the Texans, the whispers were that he had lost a step, but could still be an effective player. He shrugs at that familiar criticism.

"I've been hearing that for the past couple of years, so it is what it is," he said. "Half of the people that talk about football can't even play football, so I don't really get caught up into that."

Phillip B. Wilson also can be found on Facebook and Google+.

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