The injury bug has consistently bit NFL teams at inopportune times during the preseason, and its latest victim this time is the Houston Texans. Earlier this morning, the Houston Chronicle reported that Texans center Nick Martin underwent surgery to repair a high-ankle sprain that will sideline him for the season. He will be placed on the injured reserve list.
Dr. Robert Anderson, the team doctor for the Carolina Panthers, performed Martin’s surgery.
Source: #Texans center Nick Martin recently underwent ankle surgery from Dr. Robert Anderson in NC. He’s expected to miss the 2016 season.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 25, 2016
Martin suffered the injury during a joint practice session with the New Orleans Saints when another lineman rolled up on his leg. Martin’s prognosis shocked many fans and reporters, especially after head coach Bill O’Brien said the injury didn’t appear to be too serious upon first glance.
Martin’s injury is a serious blow to the Texans offensive front, which was looking to rebound after an underwhelming 2015 season. Last year, the Texans finished at 18th in Football Outsider’s offensive line rankings, an underwhelming number for a serious playoff team. Martin was selected in the second round by the Texans in order to fill the void left by Ben Jones’ departure to the Tennessee Titans and to help a retooled offense.
Prior to his ankle injury, Martin was struggling with a back issue that sidelined him for several practices during training camp. In his short return to practices, the Notre Dame prospect impressed coaches and earned the staring spot at center, despite not appearing in either preseason game for the Texans. However, it didn’t last long.
Martin was considered one of the top centers in his draft class, earning high praise from draft guru Mike Mayock during the scouting process.
Now, the Texans have a glaring hole they needs to fill in a hurry before the season opener against the Chicago Bears. Backup center Tony Bergstrom will get the first crack at the starting job, but don’t be surprised if the Texans look to free agency or attempt to complete a trade.