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Breakout Texans WR Tank Dell has season-ending surgery on broken fibula

Rookie reportedly suffered fractured fibula

Texans wide receiver Tank Dell had season-ending surgery Monday, a day after injuring his leg in Houston's win over the Denver Broncos.

Head coach DeMeco Ryans announced the news to reporters, a day after NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that Dell sustained a fractured fibula.

"He'll be out for the rest of the season," Ryans told reporters. "He had successful surgery this morning. On to a speedy recovery. Our prayers are with Tank, our thoughts are with him.

"He's been such an inspiration for our team. Just incredible young man. Happy for the season he had as a rookie and the impact he had as a person and a player for our organization. Expect to get him back before next offseason program."

Dell left Sunday's 22-17 victory on a cart after his injury on a goal-line play.

Dell, listed at 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds, lined up in the slot on second-and-goal from the 3-yard line. He ran over the middle to block for Dameon Pierce at the goal line. As Pierce reached the end zone on a touchdown run, Dell's body got twisted over the top of Pierce with his left leg pinned under a pile of players.

He remained on the ground after the score and was carted off the field minutes later. He was in obvious pain as his Texans teammates surrounded him on the field. The Texans initially listed him as questionable with an ankle injury before ruling him out at halftime.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Dell suffered a fractured fibula.

The injury is a tough blow for the Texans and Dell, who has emerged as a preferred target of quarterback C.J. Stroud, the overwhelming favorite to win Rookie of the Year honors.

Through 10 games entering Sunday, Dell tallied 47 catches for 709 yards with seven touchdowns. His yardage total was second on the team to Nico Collins (800), while he led the Texans in touchdowns from scrimmage. The Texans entered Sunday in the thick of the AFC playoff picture at 6-5 thanks in large part to their explosive passing game.

With Dell sidelined, the Texans will need to look more to Collins, Noah Brown and Robert Woods in the passing game. Brown was activated Sunday after missing the previous two games with a knee injury.

The Texans managed to hold on for the win despite Dell's injury. The Broncos nearly got back into the game, but couldn't complete the comeback, giving the Texans the narrow 22-17 win.

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