Fuller’s torn ACL big loss for Texans’ Watson

HOUSTON — The Texans lost wide receiver Will Fuller for the season after he tore the ACL in his right knee during Thursday’s win over the Miami Dolphins, coach Bill O’Brien said Friday.

O’Brien said he did not have a date for Fuller’s surgery.

Fuller injured his knee midway through the fourth quarter while attempting to catch a deep pass from Deshaun Watson in the end zone. He was checked out on the field but was able to walk off under his own power.

“[Fuller has] been playing well,” O’Brien said. “But that’s the thing about this league. I think if you go through every team, everybody’s dealing with injuries. It’s such a cliché, but the coaching staff, the players, we all have to pitch in and figure it out and figure out how we’re going to construct the offense. And maybe some things will be the same and maybe some things will be a little bit different. “Most importantly right now, I’m very disappointed for Will [Fuller] because Will’s a great guy, he’s really been playing at a high level.”

Fuller left the game with five catches for 124 yards, including a 73-yard touchdown. On the touchdown, Fuller easily beat his defender across the middle and down the right sideline, trotting the final 5 yards into the end zone. The pass was the longest touchdown of both Watson’s and Fuller’s careers.

The pair has connected for 11 touchdowns in 11 games played together.

Fuller has missed nine games in his first three NFL seasons. He has dealt with hamstring injuries, including one this season that caused him to miss a game. He also missed the first three games of the 2017 season with a broken collarbone.

Fuller is averaging 11.7 yards per target this season. According to ESPN Stats & Information, among players averaging six targets per game, that ranks second-best in the NFL.

Before tearing his ACL this season, Fuller had 32 catches for 503 yards and four touchdowns.

O’Brien said the Texans will continue to explore options to add to the receiver corps, but feels “there’s a lot of guys in that locker room that can help fill the void.”

The Texans don’t have much depth at the receiver position but O’Brien said he hopes to get rookie receiver Keke Coutee back from a hamstring injury “at some point” to make up for some of Fuller’s production. Houston also has veteran receiver Sammie Coates and rookie receiver Vyncint Smith. The Texans could also lean on rookie tight ends Jordan Thomas and Jordan Akins.

“Obviously if they could do them like Will [Fuller], they would have been out there like Will,” O’Brien said. “But there’s definitely guys who can do somethings. We’ve got a lot of good players in that locker room.”

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