AP Source: Texans WR Tank Dell will miss rest of season with broken left fibula

Houston Texans wide receiver Tank Dell is attended to after being injured in the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in Houston. (Eric Gay/AP)

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Texans rookie receiver Tank Dell will miss the rest of the season after breaking his left fibula Sunday against the Denver Broncos, according to a person familiar with the injury.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce the severity of Dell’s injury.

Dell got rolled up on at the end of a 3-yard touchdown run by Dameon Pierce that put Houston ahead 10-0 with about four minutes left in the first quarter.

Players immediately motioned for trainers to check on Dell as he remained on the ground writhing in pain. He stayed on the ground for a few minutes as he was tended to.

Coach DeMeco Ryans came onto the field and talked to Dell before the receiver was helped onto a cart while unable to put any weight on his left leg. He had a towel covering his face as he was driven off the field.

Dell, a third-round pick from the University of Houston, entered the game as the third rookie in NFL history with at least five catches and a TD reception in four straight games. Entering Sunday, he had at least 100 yards receiving in two of his past three home games, highlighted by a career-best 149-yard performance two weeks ago.

Dell is tied for first among NFL rookies with seven touchdown receptions, a franchise rookie record. He has 47 catches for 709 yards, both second on the team.

Ryans didn’t discuss Dell’s condition after the game but said losing him early against the Broncos was a major blow.

“It really hurt us losing Tank,” Ryans said. “Tank has been very valuable to our team. He’s provided a spark to our team each and every week he’s out on the field.”

Quarterback C.J. Stroud, who led the team in prayer before Dell was taken off the field, became emotional when asked about the injury.

“The game of football is tough,” Stroud said. “We fight our tails off every day to make people happy. … We put our bodies on the line time and time again. And to see that happen, it’s cold. It’s not easy. I’ve got to be there for him.”

Stroud said he’ll do whatever he can to assist in Dell’s recovery.

“I love my brother to death and I am praying for him and I am here for him no matter what,” Stroud said.

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