Reporting Paul Gallant
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Houston (CBS Houston)- Texans safety Danieal Manning was placed on injured reserve today, ending his season. He’d injured his right knee Sunday against the Rams, reportedly hyper-extending it.
“We’re going to miss him. He was starting to return [kicks] for us because we got healthy in the secondary,” said head coach Gary Kubiak. “We’re going to miss Danieal as a player and a person.”
“It’s very tough,” said linebacker Brian Cushing. “He’s a very energetic guy, great leader back there, and a very good football player…Any time you lose a player like that it hurts your defense, but everyone else around him has to elevate their play.”
Later today, Danieal gave a little more clarity as to what happened to his knee. Sort of. First he said he’d cracked his patella (knee-cap). Then he said it wasn’t the kneecap, but a smaller bone around the knee.
“I can’t tell you exactly how to name it,” said Manning. “I just know it’s not my kneecap…[it's] the bone outside of it…to the inside of my leg. [There's] a little crack in it.”
Manning was obviously disappointed he’d be out the rest of the season. But he knows the injury could have been worse.
“I’m fortunate it’s just that,” said Manning. “The way the play [unfolded]…it looks bad. It could have been ACL, total knee repair. But it wasn’t. Thank God it wasn’t anything like that.”
With Manning out, Kubiak said Shiloh Keo and D.J. Swearinger will fill the void against the Kansas City Chiefs and beyond. Keo said he’s ready for the challenge, though he realizes there will likely be a rotation.
“At this level, everyone’s basically trying to make a resume for themselves,” said Keo. “You’ve got to take advantage of all your opportunities…It doesn’t matter if you’re a starter, a backup, or a special teams guy. They’re always looking for guys to make plays out on the field, and that’s what I’m going to try to do.”
The third year safety started three games at free safety earlier this season while Ed Reed was recovering from hip surgery. He said there isn’t much of a difference between the free and strong safety spots in Wade Phillips’ defensive scheme.
“Since the day I’ve come in here I’ve taken reps at free and strong,” said Keo. “So it’s kind of just molded into one position for me. Basically, both safeties need to know and understand the defense and all the playcalls, all the checks…It’s kind of like…playing left and right [safety].”