Mercilus (pectoral) was placed on injured reserve Wednesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Mercilus needed season-ending surgery to repair his torn pectoral muscle, so this move was expected. The Texans will need to replace his strong pass-rush presence, so they signed Lamarr Houston, who notched eight sacks for the Bears in 2015 -- his last 16-game season.
Mercilus suffered a torn pectoral muscle in Sunday's loss to the Chiefs and will require season-ending surgery, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports.
This was a worst-case scenario for the Texans, who will now be without their top two pass rushers after perennial All-Pro J.J. Watt fractured his tibia earlier in the contest and will also require season-ending surgery. The Texans will now be forced to lean more heavily on Jadeveon Clowney to supply the heat on opposing quarterbacks with Mercilus, who had accumulated 19.5 sacks the last two seasons, and Watt out of commission. Ufomba Kamalu will be first in line to replace Mercilus in the starting lineup at outside linebacker, but he'll need to prove himself a capable producer before popping up on the IDP radar.
Mercilus left Sunday's game against the Chiefs with a chest injury and won't return.
It's a tough blow for the Houston defense, as Mercilus had led the team with 7.5 sacks a year earlier. The Texans will likely have a more specific update on Mercilus' injury in the days to come. His absence for the rest of Sunday's contest will open up more snaps at outside linebacker for Ufomba Kamalu.
Mercilus was limited in Thursday's practice due to an ankle injury.
Mercilus was added to the injury report Thursday due to an ankle ailment. A key defensive contributor, the veteran linebacker has logged 10 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble through the first quarter of the season. His status for Friday's practice will be a determining factor for whether he suits up Sunday against the Chiefs.
Mercilus recorded his first sack of the season in Sunday's 36-33 loss to the Pats to go along with five solo tackles and a forced fumble.
Mercilus' sack of Tom Brady midway through the second quarter led to a fumble that was recovered and taken to pay dirt by teammate Jadeveon Clowney. The 27-year-old was one of two Texans defenders to see the field for all 65 defensive snaps. He will look to carry his momentum into a Week 4 tilt against the Titans.
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