A season of promise for the Houston Texans is quickly turning into a season of despair as the injuries begin to mount.
The Texans, who have hopes of making the playoffs for the first time, announced that star outside linebacker Mario Williams is lost for the season after suffering a torn pectoral muscle during Sunday’s 25–20 loss to the Oakland Raiders. They were already without All-Pro wide receiver and primary playmaker Andre Johnson, who is still recovering from a minor hamstring surgery last week but should return soon.
Both players have a huge presence on their respective side of the football and they won’t be easily replaced as evidenced during Sunday’s stunning loss. Williams, an All-Pro defensive end, has been dominant in his new role this season as a pass-rushing outside linebacker in the Texans new 3–4 defense.
“I feel so bad for Mario (Williams) because he’s been such a heck of a player and what we’re doing, to me, is really going to blossom his career from now on,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Monday. “I think he’d really taken to the position he’s playing. He was improving every day at practice, improving in every game and really enjoying. I’ve never seen him so upbeat about what was going on and then to lose him on a freak play, it doesn’t look like much at all."
“I’m disappointed for Mario. Obviously it’s tough on the team. We’re missing a great player.
The timing could be worse for Houston as it now sits at 3–2 on the season with tough back-to-back road games coming first Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens followed by a surprising Tennessee Titans team, which will give an idea which team will control the AFC South.
“We have to pick it up,” said Texans defensive end Antonio Smith. “Mario is who he is but somebody is going to come and pick up the slack.”
The question is who will fill that void?
It’s a question the Texans must answer quickly before another once-promising season fades.
(Photo: Bob Levey/Getty Images)