Houston’s defense was dealt a crushing blow on Sunday
The Houston Texans lost their starting middle linebacker and defensive captain DeMeco Ryans for the season. Ryans went down, untouched, near the close of the second half on a Dwayne Bowe touchdown. He tore his achilles tendon and head coach Gary Kubiak said Ryans would have surgery in a few days and will be lost for the 2010 season. Ryans said on his season-ending injury:
“I was planting to go make a play on the ball. I was trying to jump up and I couldn’t push off my foot.”
Defensive coordinator Frank Bush said losing Ryans is to the Texans’ defense like losing Matt Schaub on offense
“On our side of the ball, he is our Matt Schaub. He’s the guy that leads our defense. He does everything for us. With him going down, it’s going to be tough. We can’t replace him. We’ve just got to try to move on with the guys that we have.”
Kubiak said replacing him will take a team effort, and All Pro receiver Andre Johnson said you can’t just replace the 2006 Rookie of the Year and Texans’ “Captain.”
“You really can’t replace DeMeco. His nickname is Captain … so that goes to show you what he means to this football team. For us to lose him, it makes you feel like you can’t catch a break. We just have to have some guys step up.”
The Texans could keep Zach Diles in the middle linebacker position. Diles replaced Ryans on Sunday in the middle. It is possible the Texans could move rookie surprise Darryl Sharpton to the middle and keep Diles outside preventing Xavier Adibi from taking a starter job. Sharpton was more than impressive throughout minicamps, training camp and the preseason. Adibi has yet to play well in coverage or against the run since joining the Texans in the 2008 draft. Kevin Bentley and David Nixon are best for the outside, and are mainly reserve linebackers and special team players. Bentley, Adibi and Sharpton are all recovering from injuries that kept the inactive Sunday, but they’re recovery regiments will definitely speed up now that Ryans is lost for the season. Keep back, we here at TexansGab will have all your Texans updates for DeMeco’s replacement heading into the bye week and beyond.
In March of this year Ryans and the Texans agreed to a six-year, $48 million contract, signing Ryans through 2015. The deal included a total of $21.75 million in guaranteed money. An achilles tendon tear will generally keep a football player out for a full football season, so we should expect Ryans to make his recovery and return by next season.