Ejiofor's season is done

Houston Texans' OLB Duke Ejiofor suffers torn ACL, out for season

Photo by Zach Tarrant/Houstontexans.com

The Houston Texans announced late Friday afternoon that OLB Duke Ejiofor sustained an ACL injury during the first day of padded practice — originally reported by Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. With no timetable on his return, Texans' head coach Bill O'Brien expects a long rehab process for the 25-year-old Houston native.

"Duke Ejiofor suffered a knee injury in practice," head coach Bill O'Brien said Saturday morning. "Duke has been through a lot...It's a tough blow for him, and it's going to be a long rehab for him. We'll place him on IR in the next couple of days."

In 2018, the Texans selected Ejiofor in the sixth-round of the 2018 NFL Draft. During the 12 games he played as a rookie, Ejiofor showed promise recording nine tackles, a sack, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery in 158 defensive snaps and 56 on special teams. He suffered a torn Achilles' tendon last training camp and missed all of the 2019 season.

With Ejiofor out, O'Brien says he expects to increase the role of Jacob Martin to help fill in the void. Acquired in a trade from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for Jadeveon Clowney, Martin recorded 11 tackles (six solo hits), seven quarterback hits and 3.5 sacks in 221 defensive snaps in 2019.

"He brings a lot of energy to practice," O'Brien said. "Really quick first step in pass rush game. Gotten better at understanding our system. Body type that helps us on special teams. Great guy, really good pro, brings a lot of juice to our defense."

In addition to Martin, the Texans will rely on rookie Jonathan Greenard and third-year linebacker Peter Kalambayi to step in for the injured Ejiofor.

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