INDIANAPOLIS – Outside linebacker Brooks Reed will not play in the Texans' regular-season finale against the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Reed was declared inactive 90 minutes before kickoff with a groin injury. He was listed as questionable after being limited in practice all week.
The announcement came as a minor surprise after Reed played in the first half last Sunday following a three-game absence. Texans coaches said during the week that they though Reed would be available. Reed should be fine for the playoffs, which won't start for two weeks if the Texans beat the Colts and clinch home-field advantage in the AFC.
With Reed out, rookie first-round draft pick Whitney Mercilus will make his fourth start at weakside linebacker. Mercilus has 6.0 sacks this season, tied with Reed for the franchise rookie record. Connor Barwin, who has 3.0 sacks, will move from the weakside to the strongside. Special teams standout Bryan Braman will be the third player in the outside linebacker rotation.
Cornerback Alan Ball (foot) was the only other Texans player declared inactive because of an injury. Four injured Colts starters are inactive: center Samson Satele, nose tackle Antonio Johnson, defensive end Cory Redding and safety Tom Zbikowski.