Source: Texans QB Mallett done for season with torn pectoral

November 24, 2014

Ryan Mallett's season is over.

The Houston Texans quarterback sustained a torn pectoral, FOX Sports 1's NFL insider Mike Garafolo confirmed. The Houston Chronicle first reported the news.

The injury reportedly occurred during warm-ups before Sunday's 22-13 loss against the Cincinnati Bengals. Mallett underwent an MRI on Monday and the results revealed the tear. Head coach Bill O'Brien wouldn't say what the injury was when asked Monday.

With Mallett out, the Texans must turn back to Ryan Fitzpatrick for Week 13's game against the Tennessee Titans.

While Mallett was solid in his first career start in a win over Cleveland in Week 11, he appeared off the mark Sunday, completing 21 of 45 passes for 189 yards and an interception.

Teammates said they knew something was wrong during the game, but didn't know what the problem was.

''On the last two drives, just saw him kind of grimacing in pain a little bit after a couple of throws,'' left tackle Duane Brown said. ''I didn't know exactly what was going on.''

Receiver DeAndre Hopkins said how Mallett played on Sunday makes more sense now that they know he was injured, and he raved about the toughness of the quarterback.

''His second start, the guy wanted it,'' Hopkins said. ''He wanted to win. You could see it in his eyes. He never let (it) show that he was hurt. He never really let us down on the sideline. He was the same Ryan.''

The Texans traded for Mallett on Aug. 31, reuniting him with O'Brien, who was the offensive coordinator for the Patriots when he was a rookie in 2011. Mallett didn't take a single snap in two of his three seasons as Tom Brady's backup. He appeared in four games in 2012, but completed just one of four passes for 17 yards with an interception.

Mallett, playing in the final year of his rookie deal, likely will test free agency this upcoming offseason.

Fitzpatrick was benched for Mallett during the bye after Houston started the season 4-5. The only other quarterback on the roster is Tom Savage, a rookie who was taken in the fourth round of the draft.

Fitzpatrick has thrown for 1,960 yards with 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. The Texans are 28th in the league with just 207.5 yards passing a game.

Despite his benching, the Texans insist that they're confident in Fitzpatrick's ability to lead the team.

''Fitz isn't a stranger to the starting lineup or playing in big games,'' Brown said. ''We have all the confidence in the world in him if he's under center.''

Fitzpatrick said it won't be anything new to him if he gets thrust back into the starting job.

''That's what being a quarterback is,'' he said. ''That's what kind of my whole career has been.''

He faced a similar situation last year when Jake Locker was injured midway through the season and Fitzpatrick had to step in and finish the year for the Titans.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.