The Houston Texans will look to replace center Jarrett Patterson after the rookie was carted off the field during Sunday's loss at Carolina.
"When it comes to Jarrett, his injury, a lower-leg injury, he'll be out for some time," Head Coach DeMeco Ryans said Monday. "Hopefully, we can get him back. We have shuffled a lot of guys on the offensive line throughout the year. It is difficult losing your center. Jarrett has been a staple for us throughout this season. Very pleased with what he was able to do stepping in. Smart player, tough player, played well for us so we'll be doing some more shuffling around there."
Patterson, a 2023 sixth-round draft pick out of Notre Dame, started all seven games this season before suffering the injury on the Texans final offensive series in the fourth quarter in Sunday's 15-13 loss to the Panthers. Veteran C/G Michael Deiter took over at center and finished the game.
"When he went down, that definitely did hurt us mentally, I would say that we still had guys step up," Jonathan Greenard said. "Deiter came in and still stepped up and did his part. But in that same token, it was sad to see him go down. But JP is going to be back. He's going to be fine."
Patterson started the season opener at Baltimore after an injury sidelined starting center Juice Scruggs, also a rookie. Scruggs had a strong showing but a hamstring injury sustained in the final preseason game at New Orleans landed him on IR to start the regular season. Patterson became the Week 1 starter without taking the first-team reps at center in camp.
"That's big, coming in not knowing if you were going to start out the gate, then things happen in the league," RB Devin Singletary said. "You're right in the line of fire. I think he handled it well. When you're a center that's a big responsibility. And he's been communicating well and playing well. So I think he did good."
Scruggs, the former Penn State standout, is eligible to return off IR and could be an option if the Texans activate his 21-day practice window this week. Drafted in the second round (62nd overall), Scruggs had taken over the starting center spot in training camp and preseason after Scott Quessenberry underwent season-ending knee surgery. The Texans begin practicing on Wednesday for their Week 9 opponent, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"Coach Strausser has done a really good job with that group," Ryans said. "We'll see who goes out there and see what we can put together this coming week."
Sunday's kickoff against the Buccaneers takes place at noon CT from NRG Stadium.