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Houston Texans

Walker latest Texan to land on IR

Texans Head Coach Dom Capers announced today that starting DT Gary Walker will be placed on the team's injured reserve list and miss the remaining five games of the season. Walker has missed the past five games with a turf toe injury that he suffered versus the New York Jets on Oct. 19.**


"We've placed Gary Walker on injured reserve today," Capers said. "That's based off the fact that he has to be in a cast for three weeks and then will probably be in a boot for two more weeks. He would not have been able to come back and help us. The main thing is that Gary gets that toe squared away so it's totally healthy."


Walker, who was one of two Texans invited to the 2002 Pro Bowl along with CB Aaron Glenn, is the second Texan to be put on the injured reserve list with a turf toe injury in the past three days. On Wednesday, the Texans placed RB Stacey Mack on the list.**


"With that type of injury, you really don't know," Capers said. "It's a tough one because you just don't know how quick it's going to respond. Here is a guy like Stacey Mack that played with some of it, but it just progressively got worse. It got to the point where we had to put Stacey on injured reserve. **


Also today, Capers named QB Tony Banks as the Texans' starting quarterback for this Sunday's contest versus the Atlanta Falcons. QB David Carr will likely suit up to play, but his place on the depth chart will depend on how he improves over the next two days.

             "Whether David Carr is the second or third quarterback will
             be determined Sunday," Capers said. "I think there is
             a possibility either way on Sunday whether he could back up or
             be the third quarterback. It's going to depend on how he
             For Walker, his turf toe injury is his second major setback of
             the season. He missed the Texans' first two games with a
             sprained shoulder that he suffered against the Dallas Cowboys 

in the preseason. In the four games that he played this year, Walker collected 22 tackles and nine QB hurries.

             Last week, Walker's toe injury seemed to improve, but after
             doing some slight jogging it worsened. Upon further examination
             of the tow, the best option was for Walker to put a cast on it
             and rest for a few weeks.
             "With Gary, obviously, a week ago we had him come out and
             start to do some running and the thing didn't respond very
             well," Capers said. "It started to become inflamed
             again and get some swelling. I guess the only thing to do is
             stabilize the thing and immobilize it and take four, five or six
             weeks to get the thing totally healthy before you do anything 

on it."

             The Texans' defensive line has been decimated by injuries this
             season. Starting DT Seth
                 Payne has been out since Sept. 14 with a torn ACL. With
             Walker's injury, the Texans are left with just DE Jerry
                 DeLoach as the only starting defensive lineman from 2002
             still in the starting lineup.
             "I think (Walker's injury) shows up that much more when we
             only had Seth Payne for a game and a handful of plays,"
             Capers said. "When there are two guys that you've got your
             (defensive) front built around and you really don't have either
             one of them for much of the year, it does affect you. We've
             missed their leadership."
             With Walker on injured reserve, the Texans now have two spots
             open on their 53-man roster since Mack's place has yet to be
             taken. At the moment, there is no plan to fill those spots
             before Sunday's game. Any possible roster moves will take place
             next week.
             **NOTES:** For the first time this season, the Texans will
             announce their special teams lineup during pre-game
             introductions against the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday. 
             "Our special teams have been as consistent as any unit on
             our team," Capers said. "These guys are normally
             unheralded. They never get an opportunity to run out into the
             stadium and hear their name called. Our special teams did a
             tremendous job last week blocking a punt and blocking a field
             goal. They've been a consistent unit."
             In other news, Glenn will likely start after initial concerns
             about his lingering groin problem. He has practiced the past two
             days and is listed as questionable on the injury
             "I would say just based off of practice that Aaron will
             start for us at corner," Capers said. "I don't think
             that his condition is much different than it was last week
             heading into the Patriots game."
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