Injury-plagued Texans hurt again as Weary breaks leg

Updated: December 3, 2007, 11:23 AM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

A Houston Texans offensive line already stretched thin by injuries suffered another setback in Sunday's 28-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans when starting right guard Fred Weary, a six-year veteran arguably having the best season of his career, suffered a broken right tibia.

The injury will end the season for Weary, who stayed behind in a Nashville hospital after his teammates departed following the defeat. He will be placed on injured reserve.

Second-year guard Chris White, who replaced Weary after the starter was injured and carted from the field in the second quarter, suffered an injury to the medial collateral ligament of his left knee in the second half. White could also be done for the season.

Houston already has four offensive linemen on injured reserve or the season-long physically unable to perform list. The infirm include starting center Steve McKinney and second-year veteran Charles Spencer, who began the 2006 season as the starting left tackle, but suffered a broken left leg that in the second game of the year that has sidelined him for all of 2007.

It is expected that rookie Kasey Studdard, a sixth-round pick from Texas, will move into the starting lineup at right guard. Studdard has played sparingly this year.

Weary's injury clouds the future of the former University of Tennessee standout because he is in the final season of his contract and eligible for unrestricted free agency in the spring. How much of a market Weary is able to generate, and how teams including the Texans view him looking forward to 2008 and beyond, might well depend on his rehabilitation.

A third-round choice in the 2002 draft, Weary had started all 12 games this season. Known as a hard worker, and a solid in-line blocker in the running game, he had been a bright spot on the Texans' offensive line unit.

Weary, 30, has appeared in 63 games for his career, starting in 43.

White was signed to the Houston practice squad in 2006 after spending some time on the Green Bay roster in 2005 and 2006. The former Southern Mississippi linemen, originally signed by the Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2005, has appeared in seven games.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.