Texans cornerback Brice McCain will be placed on the injured reserve/designated for return list with a left foot injury, coach Gary Kubiak announced on Monday.
McCain, who essentially starts for the Texans as their nickel cornerback, was injured in the first half on Sunday at Tennessee. He had surgery on Monday morning and a screw inserted into his foot.
Teams can designate one injured reserve player to return each season, a new rule that the NFL introduced this year. McCain must sit out for at least for eight weeks but can start practicing after six weeks. That means if he is able to return, it could only be for the Super Bowl.
Kubiak said Brandon Harris will replace McCain as the Texans' nickel corner. A second-round draft pick from Miami (Fla.) in 2011, Harris played extensively in McCain's absence on Sunday. Second-year cornerback Roc Carmichael also will become a bigger part of the rotation.
Cornerback Johnathan Joseph (hamstring/groin) is still day-to-day. He has missed the last two games. Cornerback Alan Ball (foot), who started for Joseph in Week 12, is also day-to-day after sitting out against the Titans. Kubiak said the Texans are looking hard at possibly signing another cornerback.
A fourth-year pro out of Utah, McCain has played in all 12 games with two starts this season. He has 19 tackles, eight passes defensed and one interception.