Third-string nose tackle Sunny Harris will miss the rest of the season with a torn triceps muscle.
Coach Gary Kubiak announced the news on Wednesday afternoon at Reliant Stadium. Harris, a second-year pro out of Oregon, was injured during an individual period of practice on Tuesday.
"It's a very unfortunate situation," Kubiak said. "He had been playing really good for us, but he's going to go on I.R."
The loss of Harris leaves the Texans with two healthy nose tackles for their upcoming preseason game at New Orleans. Starter Shaun Cody is out with a lower back injury. Earl Mitchell, who rotates with Cody, and Hebron Fangupo, an undrafted rookie from BYU, will play against the Saints.
Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said defensive ends Tim Jamison and Jared Crick can also play nose tackle. Crick, a rookie fourth-round pick from Nebraska, made his NFL debut against the 49ers on Saturday after missing time with a neck issue.
"I was pleased with Crick this last week," Phillips said. "His first time to play, and I thought he did a good job. He's a good-looking player, so just glad to have him."
The Texans will likely sign another nose tackle, but he won't be able to play at New Orleans because of the three-day acclimation period built into the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Harris (6-5, 300) was making a case for a spot on the final 53-man roster with an impressive training camp. He played nose tackle and end and was starting to get practice reps against the Texans' first-team offense.