Matt Schaub‘s struggles won’t get much better with the latest news from the Texans. Several reports yesterday stated that Owen Daniels will be sidelined 4-6 weeks with a non-displaced fibula fracture. Adam Schefter reported earlier today that the Texans have placed Daniels on injured reserve with designation to return. Daniels will be available to return week 14. Daniels will not undergo surgery as the injury heals on its own.
How important is Daniels to the Texans offense? Daniels is currently the team’s second leading receiver with 24 receptions and is tied for the team lead with three touchdowns. Daniels is a two-time Pro Bowler has been on the field for 90.5 percent of the Texans offensive snaps. Daniels is a good blocking tight end as well as a receiver. He has reliable hands and has always been one of Schaub’s favorite third-down targets.
Garrett Graham will replace Daniels in the starting lineup. Graham has also been a weapon for Schaub catching 15 balls for 141 yard and three touchdowns. 6th-round rookie Ryan Griffin will take over Graham’s role and will likely see many snaps as the Texans often use a two tight end formation. Expect the Texans to potentially add a tight end from a practice squad or sign one from free agency.
Since the injury heals itself, Daniels will hopefully be available when eligible to return week 14. The Texans face the Jaguars on Thursday Night Football that week and should still be in contention then. The Texans face the Colts, Broncos, and Titans to finish off the season and they will need a healthy Daniels in all three games which will likely have playoff implications.
For now, Schaub will be without one of his favorite receivers but the Texans seem confident in the ability of Graham and Griffin to replace Daniel’s productions.