Texans place rookie RB Tate on IR with fractured ankle

HOUSTON -- Houston Texans rookie running back Ben Tate is out for the season because of a fractured ankle.

Coach Gary Kubiak said Monday that Tate will be placed on injured reserve and undergo surgery this week.

The 5-foot-11 Tate hurt his right ankle in Saturday's 19-16 preseason loss to Arizona and was carted off the field. Kubiak said Sunday that the injury was "pretty severe."

Kubiak said team doctors expect Tate to fully recover.

"The surgery should be fine, he should be back playing next year," Kubiak said. "But it's a big blow. We were counting on him a great deal. He's a dang good-looking young player."

The Texans selected the former Auburn star in the second round of the draft. He was competing for time at running back with Arian Foster, Steve Slaton, Chris Henry and Jeremiah Johnson.

Kubiak said he and general manager Rick Smith will be watching for free-agent running backs to become available.

"Having four guys right now, our eyes are open," Kubiak said. "We've got a lot of preseason football left, so Rick and I have to look around and see what's happening. We have to get these four guys ready to play. They all need a lot of time."

Also Monday, Houston placed backup defensive end Tim Bulman on injured reserve (shoulder) and signed free-agent James Wyche.

The Texans play their second preseason game in New Orleans on Saturday.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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