Green, hampered by a knee injury all season, will have to wait until 2008 to carry the ball again for the Texans.
Running back Ahman Green was placed on the injured reserve list on Friday, ending his 2007 season. Head coach Gary Kubiak also named the team's starting right guard and announced the activation of two young players.
Green to IR: Green was placed on injured reserve on Friday after missing three consecutive games with calcific tendonitis in the patella tendon of his left knee.
"We've worked our tail off with him, Kevin (Bastin, head athletic trainer), Rick (Smith), everybody in the organization, trying to get him to the point where he felt good enough to get back on the field and play," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "The response with the knee has been very, very slow and it's day-to-day. In all fairness to him and the players and everybody, we're going to move on."
Green was greeted by high expectations when he arrived in Houston as a major free agent acquisition this offseason. The four-time Pro Bowler had recovered from a quadriceps tendon injury suffered in 2005 to run for 1,059 yards last season in Green Bay.
During the preseason, Green impressed teammates and coaches with his outstanding speed and elusiveness. But the powerful offensive trio that was to be Green, Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson never got to play more than two full games together after Green hurt his knee in the second game at Carolina.
He battled the injury since, missing six games and playing in parts of four. Green was a dangerous weapon when healthy, including part of Week 9 at Oakland when he amassed 81 yards and a touchdown on only nine touches.
"It's extremely disappointing because I think we all understand what he means to our football team," Kubiak said. "It's been disappointing from Week 3. It's been tough.
"To me, it's difficult on players and stuff to see him trying to get back on the field and we get close and we're not there. Those are tough things to deal with. Let's move forward and let's get him well."
A dejected Green spoke to the media after watching practice from the sideline.
"It's frustrating," he said. "I tried my best rehabbing and running around and know from watching film and practicing the way I did, I felt good, it's the fact that it's just not quite there.
"I kept feeling the way I felt prior to games and when I go into games and then bam, a couple plays in and I'm out, and I don't want to do that to myself, I don't want to do that to my team. And I want to make sure I help my team by letting them know, being honest with them how I feel, so they could be ready for the game in terms of having guys on the field that are healthy that could get the job done."
Green will continue to rehab without surgery and expects to be back in uniform in 2008. In six games this season, five starts, he totaled 260 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 70 attempts. He becomes the 17th Texan to hit the injured reserve list this season, tops in the NFL.
Starting at right guard…: Mike Brisiel was named the Texans' starting right guard for Week 14. The second-year player out of Colorado State had been battling rookie Kasey Studdard for the spot after both Fred Weary and Chris White were lost for the season with injuries last week at Tennessee.
The 6-5, 300-pound Brisiel had been on the Texans' practice squad from the start of his career until being promoted to the active roster earlier this week. Now, his first NFL action will be as a starter.
"I just found out today," he said. "You work so hard for something and then to feel it, you're on the doorstep of it, it's really big-time.
"I just dreamed of this day for so long, and now it's here. I've just got to make the most of it."
Brisiel admitted he'll be a little nervous on Sunday, but he isn't worried about a shaky performance.
"Shoot, my dad used to always say if you're not a little bit nervous, you're not ready to play," he said. "Everybody's going to have a little bit of nerves. I prepare every week to go in like I'm going to get a chance to play, so this shouldn't be any different."
Kubiak said that Studdard will come off the bench to rotate in with Brisiel, and that Sunday's game is a great opportunity for both young players.
Walker up: With Green moved to IR, rookie running back Darius Walker will play on Sunday for the first time in his professional career.
The last time Walker played in a game of importance was in a Notre Dame uniform, when his Fighting Irish took on the LSU Tigers in the 2007 Nokia Sugar Bowl. He ranks fourth in Notre Dame history with 3,249 rushing yards.
Walker fills out the Texans' running back rotation for the remainder of the season along with Ron Dayne and Adimchinobi Echemandu.
Boyd, too: Quarterback Shane Boyd takes Green's place on the active roster and will back up Sage Rosenfels. Boyd joined the Texans practice squad on Oct. 24 and spent the last seven weeks there.
This is the second stint on the 53-man roster of an NFL club for the athletic Boyd, who also lined up at wide receiver and running back at the University of Kentucky and was drafted by Major League Baseball's Minnesota Twins. The third-year pro was called up to the Arizona Cardinals active roster last season prior to their season finale at San Diego.