Texans top pick Johnson yet to sign

Updated: July 29, 2005, 11:26 PM ET
Associated Press

Houston Texans: It looks as if the Houston Texans will start camp without their top draft pick.

The team still hadn't signed defensive tackle Travis Johnson on Friday, less than 24 hours before the start of camp.

"You'd always like to have the guy there from day one," coach Dom Capers said. "I've always believed that once you report and start in, you focus on the guys that are there. You work with them and you don't waste a bit of energy on anything you don't control and we don't have any control over that right now."

Johnson, the 16th pick in the draft from Florida State, participated in the Texans' minicamp. A message left with Johnson's agent Gary Wichard was not immediately returned Friday.

Johnson is the final draft pick yet to be signed after the team agreed to contracts with third-round pick Vernand Morency and Jerome Mathis, a fourth-round choice, on Thursday.

The Texans assembled Friday for conditioning tests where they ran 14 40-yard dashes at different intervals. Capers said Johnson was the only player not in attendance. The team opens camp with two practices Saturday.

Seattle Seahawks: Shaun Alexander missed the first day of training camp Friday, but he's not a holdout.

His wife had a daughter named Trinity, their second child, on Thursday. Coach Mike Holmgren expects Alexander to join the team by Sunday, though he wasn't sure if Alexander will practice before Monday.

Alexander's first daughter, Heaven, was born Sept. 21, 2003, shortly before kickoff of a Seahawks home game against St. Louis. Alexander attended her birth then rushed to the stadium, missing the first quarter of Seattle's 24-23 win.

Alexander was designated the team's franchise player last spring. He ended speculation about whether he'd skip training camp when he signed a one-year $6.32 million tender earlier this week.

Meanwhile, center Chris Spencer, the team's first-round selection, and linebacker Lofa Tatupu, the second-round pick, didn't attend morning workouts. Holmgren downplayed their absences, saying their contracts will be completed soon.

"We have most of the guys here. The word is we're real close on our draft picks," Holmgren said. "I'm pretty confident we're going to get those guys in."

It was not known when Spencer or Tatupu will report, but general manager Tim Ruskell was optimistic both could be in camp by Saturday.

Cincinnati Bengals: LSU's Ben Wilkerson, considered one of the nation's premier college centers before suffering a knee injury last October, failed his NFL physical and was placed on the Bengals' active/non-football injury list Friday.

Wilkerson's injury is considered to be "non-football" because it did not occur in an NFL game.

Wilkerson was undrafted. and signed as a free agent on April 28.

Wilkerson was injured on the final play of LSU's 24-7 win over Vanderbilt last Oct. 30 when the tendon that runs across his left kneecap ripped. The knee required two operations -- one to fix the tendon and insert a protective wire, another to remove the wire.

Despite the injury, Wilkerson still shared the Rimington Trophy as the nation's top center with Michigan's David Baas.

San Diego Chargers: Chargers quarterback Drew Brees disclosed Friday that he separated his left shoulder in the fourth game last season and played the rest of the year with the injury.

He said he had arthroscopic surgery in the offseason to repair the problem.

Despite the injury to his non-throwing shoulder, Brees had his best season, throwing for 27 touchdowns with just seven interceptions. He made the Pro Bowl.

New York Jets: Running back Vick King retired Friday after one season in the NFL. He signed with the Jets in May after spending time with the Miami Dolphins last season. Also, linebacker Kenyatta Wright was placed on the physically unable to perform list with a foot injury.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press