HOUSTON - The Houston Texans confirmed Friday morning what many feared after seeing wide receiver Will Fuller down on the field in the end zone being attended to by the athletic training staff and surrounded by many of his Texans teammates during Thursday night's win over the Miami Dolphins.
"Will Fuller tore his ACL and will be out for the season," head coach Bill O'Brien said at a Friday press conference.
The Texans offense exploded on Thursday night for their best effort of the season, with six touchdowns in the 42-23 win over the Dolphins. Fuller produced his third 100-yard receiving game of the season, catching six balls for 124 yards along with his fourth touchdown reception of the season.
"Most importantly for right now, I'm very disappointed for Will because Will's a great guy," O'Brien said. "He's really been playing at a high level, just disappointed for Will."
After missing the opening game of the season, Fuller had 32 receptions for 503 yards on the season. His yardage total ranked ninth in the AFC.
The play he was injured on also drew two penalties on Brice McCain, the Dolphins defender attempting to stay with him on the deep ball. McCain was flagged for both holding and pass interference. The interference, which was the penalty that was accepted, is where McCain got his hands and arms on Fuller just before the ball arrived.
The contact knocked Fuller off balance and subsequently caused the misstep which is likely where the ACL injury in his right knee occurred.
"He'd been playing well, but that's the thing about this league, I think if you go through every team, everybody is dealing with injuries," O'Brien said. "It's such a cliche, the coaching staff, the players, we all have to pitch in and figure out how we're going to construct the offense. Maybe some things will be the same, maybe some things will be a little different."
The team is hopeful that rookie Keke Coutee will be able to return soon from his second hamstring injury of the season. Coutee has already missed four games this season with hamstring injuries, and O'Brien was uncertain about when he'd return, merely hopeful that it would be soon.
Fellow rookie Vyncint Smith and veteran Sammie Coates are other options the team might look to fill some of the void left by Fuller's absence. Each has just one catch this season.
FIVE IN A ROW
People were glad to see the offense finally playing the way they have been hoping for, with quarterback Deshaun Watson matching his career high with five touchdown passes.
“This is going to be amazing,” said fan Ray Doctor. “I've never seen so many fans walking out before the game is over and being happy. I believe we're going to win more games for the remainder of the season than with the losses--so we are going to the playoffs baby! GO TEXANS!"
Even defensive end J.J. Watt got in on the celebration, sharing a tweet that read “winner winner chicken dinner.”
Houston's mayor Sylvester Turner also tweeted, "Our @HoustonTexans have won their fifth straight game after starting the season 0-3. A great win over the @MiamiDolphins."
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