Texans' TE corps thinning out
HOUSTON -- Houston tight end Owen Daniels has a torn knee ligament and will have season-ending surgery to repair the injury.
Daniels, who injured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, was hurt on Houston's second possession in Sunday's win at Buffalo when he caught his foot in the turf. Coach Gary Kubiak said he'll have surgery in about two weeks after swelling in the knee has gone down.
"It's a big blow to our football team," Kubiak said. "I just feel bad for him. He was having a tremendous season, a special football season, and we're going to miss him big-time."
The fourth-year player has 40 receptions for 519 yards and a team-leading five touchdowns this season. He'll be replaced by Joel Dreessen when the Texans play at Indianapolis on Sunday.
The Texans will also be without third-string tight end James Casey on Sunday after he had arthroscopic surgery to repair a problem with the meniscus in one of his knees on Monday. It is unclear which knee is injured, but the Texans expect Casey to return when Houston hosts Tennessee on Nov. 23.
That leaves the Texans with Dreessen and rookie Anthony Hill as the only tight ends on the roster. Hill, who missed time earlier this season with swine flu, has not played this season.
"We have been impressed with his work," Kubiak said of Hill. "He's a physical player. Is he ready to go? I don't know. We'll see, but it's time for him to go."
Dreessen is also Houston's long snapper and Kubiak said the team could sign another snapper or tight end this week.
If they don't, Dreessen will see plenty of action for Houston.
"He does a little bit of everything," Kubiak said. "He went in yesterday and played 52 plays of offense and punt snapped, field goal snapped, covered kicks. I mean, the kid was on the field almost 80 plays. He's just very flexible."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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