Houston Texans cornerback Brice McCain who was pulled out of their 24-10 win against the Tennessee Titans with a mysterious foot injury on Sunday underwent surgery to repair the fractured foot today, according to coach Gary Kubiak.
The development is a huge hit to the Houston Texans’ defensive unit as they prepare to the face the New England Patriots, currently the highest-scoring team in the NFL.
Brice McCain will miss up to eight weeks after being listed on the Houston Texans’ designated to return injured reserve. This means that Brice McCain’s earliest return falls near the Super Bowl – that is if the Houston Texans make it to AFC Divisional Playoff round game or else it will be the end of McCain’s season.
After playing exceptionally well at mostly covering slot receivers the previous two seasons, Brice McCain ranked as NFL’s top nickel cornerback last year.
Second-year cornerback Brandon Harris, who played his most extensive time in a game while filling in for Brice McCain midway through the game on Sunday, is expected to be his replacement as the nickelback during next Monday’s game against the New England Patriots.
“Brandon has been chomping at the bit to play, and his playing time went from zero to 50 in one game,” Gary Kubiak said of Brandon Harris’ performance on Sunday. “I like what I saw. He’s very confident. It’ll help, of course, if we continue to get the same kind of pass rush.”
The Texans Houston had six sacks and forced the Tennessee Titans to an equal amount of turnovers.
McCain initially started opposite one of the Houston Texans’ two starting cornerbacks Kareem Jackson, when they played the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. With veteran cornerbacks Johnathan Joseph and Alan Ball out with injuries, second-year pros Roc Carmichael and Brandon Harris had their most playtime in a game over two seasons.
Still, Gary Kubiak is hoping that Johnathan Joseph and Alan Ball will be active for their game against the New England Patriots.
“J-Joe’s making progress,” said Gary Kubiak. “He ran well in practice today.”
Johnathan Joseph also suffered through a few groin issues earlier in the season before being sidelined with the latest hamstring injury. The 28-year-old Johnathan Joseph is the Houston Texans’ Pro Bowl cornerback who is typically assigned to covering the opponent’s top receivers. If Johnathan Joseph returns, the Houston Texans could have him starting opposite Kareem Jackson, with Brandon Harris still at nickelback while playing against the New England Patriots.
In the bigger picture, no matter who’s available in the secondary, the Houston Texans pass rush will at least need a comparable effort to their run against the Tennessee Titans, even though they will face a far better protection and New England Patriots’ quarterback.
Gary Kubiak is also hoping that other injured Houston Texans players who missed the Tennessee Titans game – right guard Antoine Caldwell, inside linebacker Bradie James and right tackle Derek Newton – will be able to return against the New England Patriots.