Here's one break that's going for the Texans instead of against them: star Chargers tight end Antonio Gates has an injured leg. No, not the one that's been hobbling him all season, the other one. From the San Diego Union-Tribune:
Antonio Gates was wheeling around Wednesday on a scooter that kept his right foot off the ground.
That's the opposite foot from the toe and ankle injuries that were known to be hobbling him the past two weeks.
In the second half of Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans, a game in which he caught five passes for 123 yards, Gates popped the plantar fascia in his right foot.
Dr. Phillip Kwong, a foot specialist with the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic, said people find it difficult to walk for two weeks or more after tearing a plantar fascia.
"I think it's going to be really tough to play with any proficiency this Sunday, unless they do a remarkable job anesthetizing him," Kwong said. "... He has a lot of demands on him at his position," Kwong said. "This injury will make it difficult for him to push off and be explosive."
Gates has been able to play in relative comfort thanks to pain killing injections, but the hurt is almost intolerable when those wear off.
Gates declared privately after the Titans game he was out for this Sunday at Houston.
Then again, Phillip Rivers is still a great quarterback, and Peyton Manning proved that you don't have to have great receivers to beat the Texans. But handicapped without any of his receivers, this could completely change the complexion of the game. Assuming of course, that Gates isn't some sort of superhuman who will rise up and play anyway. Which he may be.
For more on the Texans, check out Battle Red Blog.