October 16, 2011; Baltimore, MD, USA; Houston Texans cornerback Jonathan Joseph (24) covers Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin (81) at M

Houston Texans Jonathan Joseph says he will play

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One of the keys to the Monday Night Football matchup between the New England Patriots and Houston Texans is the health of star cornerback Jonathan Joseph. Yesterday, he told reporters that he is “good to go” and that there is “no doubt” (he repeated this) that he will be playing in the matchup that pits the AFC’s two best teams against each other.

Joseph was a terrific signing for the Texans last offseason, and he and standout safety Danieal Manning have helped revamp the Texans secondary that was previously arguably the worst in the league. Now, Houston boasts one of the best defensive backfields in the NFL, but it is considerably weaker without Joseph.

Kareem Jackson has greatly improved this season, but the Texans are still better at covering No. 1 wideouts than No. 2 wideouts. The glaring weakness of this secondary is in the slot, so they will have trouble against the best slot WR in the game in Wes Welker come Monday.

Needless to say, Texans fans are elated that the star CB is confident in his ability to play against the Patriots. Brandon Lloyd is expected to be a bigger part of the Pats game plan going forward with Julian Edelman out for the season and Rob Gronkowski still on the shelf, but Lloyd might not be able to take advantage of this against a corner of Joseph’s caliber.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

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