The 2013 season for Danieal Manning is over, as the Texans placed the veteran safety on injured reserve Tuesday because of a right knee tibial plateau fracture. Head coach Gary Kubiak said the loss of the eighth-year defensive back hurts in more ways than one.
"I think D-Man played at a Pro Bowl level for us," Kubiak said Wednesday. "He's a big leader on our football team. We're going to miss him."
Manning was on crutches and said he'll have surgery this Friday. He said he's not in any physical pain, but can't put much weight on his right leg. Even though his season is over, he said it could've been much worse.
"I'm fortunate that it's just that," Manning said of the injury. "In the pictures you guys have seen, it looks bad. It could've been an ACL, a whole knee repair, but thank God it wasn't anything like that."
Manning was hurt in the third quarter of Sunday's loss to the Rams. Through six games, Manning had 21 tackles and a sack. He also logged three passes defensed. Manning returned a kickoff during Sunday's loss to the Rams. It was his first return since the playoff loss at New England in January.
"He was starting to return for us because we had gotten healthy in the secondary and then this happens," Kubiak said. "We will miss Danieal as a player and a person. He's a tremendous leader and a person."
Manning and Ed Reed were the starters at safety, and Kubiak detailed what the Texans will do with Shiloh Keo and D.J. Swearinger in replacing Manning.
"You've got 'Swear and you've got Shiloh, so defensively, whether we're in base, whether we're in nickel, we've got to make our decisions there how we're going to go about that," Kubiak said. "But young guys have to step up and play more."
In 2011, he broke his left fibula in late October, but returned later in the season and played in both postseason contests. Manning signed as a free agent with the Texans in late July of 2011.