Texans place Slaton on I.R.

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The Texans have not made any official announcements regarding running back Steve Slaton.

Running back Steve Slaton has been placed on injured reserve with a neck injury, ending his second NFL season after 13 weeks.

The Texans' leading rusher and second-leading pass-catcher this season, Slaton missed last Sunday's loss at Jacksonville after experiencing numbness in the tip of his right thumb.

"He was evaluated by a doctor in Dallas (on Tuesday) and has a nerve issue," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said on Wendnesday afternoon. "They think it'll heal on its own here over the course of the 4-6 weeks...

"This is not career-threatening. Steve's going to be fine. He will play and play well. Everything's going to be OK, but they just said that right now he does not need to be taking any hits over the course of the next month."

Slaton's injury will be re-evaluated in 4-6 weeks, at which point surgery could be a possibility.

"It's my understanding that it could be something that could require that, if it doesn't heal on its own," Kubiak said. "But even if they had to do that, he will be fine and he'll be back ready to go next year."

With Slaton sidelined, Kubiak said that Chris Brown will start at running back this week. Brown started against the Jaguars and finished with six carries for 15 yards and a touchdown. He also caught two passes for 11 yards and threw an interception on a halfback pass near the goal line.

{QUOTE}Brown shared the workload with Ryan Moats, who carried 12 times for 41 yards and caught three passes for 24 yards at Jacksonville. In Week 8 at Buffalo, Moats had the best game of any Texans running back this season when he gained 126 yards on 23 carries (5.5 avg.) with three touchdowns.

Rookie running back Arian Foster is "fixing to get very much involved" in the offense, according to Kubiak. An undrafted free agent from Tennessee, Foster spent the first nine weeks of the season on the practice squad.

"We like what Arian's been doing," Kubiak said. "He's practiced very well. He's earned his way on special teams, so he deserves a shot."

The Texans signed running back Chris Henry from the practice squad to take Slaton's roster spot. Henry was a second-round draft pick by the Titans in 2007 and was signed to the Texans' practice squad on Oct. 6.

Slaton led the AFC in yards from scrimmage as a rookie, when he gained a franchise-record 1,282 rushing yards. He gained only 437 rushing yards this year and lost five fumbles, compared to two in 2008.

Despite his struggles, Slaton remained a vital part of the offense with 417 receiving yards and a team-leading seven touchdowns.

"Obviously, it's hard to lose Steve, but we've got to do what's best for the young man and his future," Kubiak said.

Slaton is the fourth offensive starter that the Texans have placed on injured reserve this season, joining tight end Owen Daniels and guards Chester Pitts and Mike Brisiel.
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Follow Nick Scurfield on Twitter at twitter.com/NickScurfield or find him on the "I'm A Texan Club" at imatexan.com/profiles/Nick_Scurf/*.

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