Tate broke four ribs in the Texans' Week 8 loss at Kansas City, but played through that game and every game since. He re-injured one of those previously broken ribs, and is now shelved for 2013.
"I said all along that he's a really tough son-of-a-gun," interim head coach Wade Phillips said. "A lot of guys won't get shot up for anything."
Phillips detailed the team's running back rotation, now that Tate is finished and the team signed Jonathan Grimes to the active roster.
"D.J. has been our backup guy," Phillips said. "He'll start. Deji is also there. Grimes will be the third guy. We have three running backs available."
His rookie season of 2010 was spent on IR as well. Tate suffered a leg injury in a preseason matchup at Arizona that August.
In three seasons with the Texans, Tate's averaged 4.7 yards per carry and carried for 10 touchdowns. He gained 942 yards in 15 games in 2011.