The Texans placed Ervin on injured reserve Wednesday. It was revealed Monday that Ervin suffered a torn patellar tendon in Sunday's win over the Titans that would require season-ending surgery, so the move to IR isn't a surprising one. The Texans will replace the running back on the 53-man roster with defensive back Marcus Cromartie.
Ervin (knee) tore his patellar tendon and will undergo surgery Monday, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. Ervin will miss the rest of the season and may not be ready for the start of training camp next year. He finishes the season with four carries for eight yards, eight catches for 38 yards, eight punt returns for 60 yards and five kick returns for 93 yards. Ervin's absence should allow Lamar Miller or D'Onta Foreman to pick up a few extra snaps on obvious passing downs, while Bruce Ellington, Jordan Todman and Chris Thompson are the leading candidates to replace Ervin in the return game.
Ervin suffered a knee injury against the Titans on Sunday and won't return, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports. Ervin plays a fair amount of offensive snaps -- mainly on passing downs -- as the No. 4 running back, and he is also a skilled return man. Without Ervin, expect to see Jordan Todman and Bruce Ellington to try their hands at returning kicks and punts, respectively.
Ervin had one carry for four yards and one reception for another four yards in Houston's 36-33 loss to the Patriots in Week 3. Ervin had stayed relevant on offense while the Texans dealt with multiple injuries to receivers, but as guys came back in Week 3, Ervin's snap count dropped to eight. A game against the high-octane offense of New England looked like it would have been a shootout, suitable to Ervin, but head coach Bill O'Brien had other plans. Ervin remains involved on special teams as the primary returner, but apparently hasn't gained the confidence of coaches to be a regular weapon on offense.
Ervin has impressed the Texans coaching staff with his versatility at running back and receiver, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. "I think [Ervin] is getting better," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "I think he's a very hard-working kid. Every game for him, relative to receiver especially, something new comes up that we can teach and we can work on the following week." Ervin's ability to adapt to multiple positions has been helpful, as the Texans have dealt with a multitude of injuries at running back, wide receiver and tight end. He's been targeted 10 times (five catches) through two weeks, doubling his number of targets in 12 games last season. In addition to his expanded role on offense, Ervin has maintained duties as the Texans' primary return man on kickoffs and punts. Ervin's rookie season was marred by issues with ball security, but no such problems have cropped up in 2017. The injured players will eventually return and he'll have to fight for targets and snaps, but that improved protection of the football should keep Ervin part of the team's offensive game plan.
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