The Houston Texans are placing tight end Owen Daniels on injured reserve with he designation to return, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Daniels would have to miss at least eight weeks with the injury, which means he could return for a Week 14 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Dec. 5.
Daniels suffered a fractured fibula in Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers. The initial diagnosis was that he would be forced to miss four to six weeks. Under the new injured reserve rule, he will not count against the official roster until he is ready to play again, which as stated, can only happen after eight weeks. He can practice again after six weeks.
It's a blow to the Texans, as Daniels has been productive this season. He has 24 receptions for 252 yards this season, and is one of the primary targets for Matt Schaub, who often relies on a two tight end set.
Fantasy Impact: Obviously, this is a huge disappointment for fantasy owners. Daniels hasn't been the most productive tight end in the NFL, but he's been solid. He'll obviously have to ride the bench or even be released at this point. The Texans are clearly eyeing Daniels being ready for a playoff run, which is mostly useless for fantasy owners.
As far as a replacement, the Texans really love the two tight end set, and rookie Ryan Griffin could be the beneficiary here. He could take Daniels' place and get a whole lot more snaps. He's worth taking a chance on at this point. But from the starting aspect, Garrett Graham will take over Daniels' primary role. He'll be the starting tight end, given that he's been productive to this point (tied with Daniels with three touchdown receptions). However, Graham might be taken in most leagues. If he's not, absolutely pick him up for your team.