The Ravens will welcome the Houston Texans on Sunday in their first game following the bye week. And glancing at Houston's injury report, it couldn't come at a better time for the purple and black.
With the Titans falling to the Steelers, the Texans had a great opportunity to pick up a little distance in the AFC South. Instead, a fourth-quarter cough up and injuries to even more key players left Houston with a 25-20 loss to the Raiders and uncertainty moving forward.
Clearly the most devastating injury Sunday was the loss of Pro Bowl defensive end Mario Williams, who suffered a torn pectoral muscle in the first quarter against Oakland. Williams ran off the field in a lot of pain and didn't return from the locker room.
Oddly enough, Williams wasn't the only Texan to tear his pectoral muscle. Fullback James Casey suffered the same injury and, coupled with star wide receiver Andre Johnson's torn hamstring a week earlier, the Texans are suddenly without three significant players, two of which in Johnson and Williams, are arguably the best on both sides of the ball.
The severity of Williams' injury wasn't immediately known, however. Houston generally uses a rotating pass rush - common for most teams - so Williams not being on the field didn't raise any red flags at first. Now, the young superstar's teammates know the truth - they'll have to pick up the pieces and move on without Williams for a while.
Just how long 'a while' is remains to be seen. In Jeffery Martin's report in the Houston Chronicle on Sunday night, some of Williams' teammates thought the all-pro would return soon, but the extent of his torn muscle is not yet known.
Williams will almost certainly be out for Sunday's game with the Ravens. Last year, Denver's Elvis Dumervil missed the entire season after suffering a torn pectoral muscle, so it could put Williams on the shelf for some time. But with Houston severely banged up, they're going to have to dig deep in order to keep pace in a winnable division.