Never mind football. It could be months before Texans offensive tackle Derek Newton is able to walk again.
Newton tore both patella tendons in Monday’s loss to the Broncos, and was kept overnight in Denver to stabilize his injuries before he was flown home.
According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, more tests were expected once he returns home to reveal the true scope of the damage, though it is obviously severe. Newton is expected to be in a wheelchair for several weeks before he’s even able to get on crutches, and it could be three months before he’s able to walk on his own. His legs have been immobilized, though he is able to wiggle his toes.
“We’re still gathering a bunch of information,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said Tuesday. “He’ll obviously be out for the season. I can’t give you any specifics on the injuries and things like that because we still have doctors’ visits.
“He stayed overnight in Denver and he’s on his way back now. I feel bad, just a tough injury, but I know he’s going to work hard to come back.”
Such injuries have been career-enders for other players such as Wendell Davis and Gary Baxter, and even one patella tear would require a lengthy rehab. Newton is already consulting with Dr. James Andrews, in anticipation of the surgeries he will need to start the process.
Until the MRI results come back, we won’t know if Newton suffered additional injuries (like a run-of-the-mill ACL tear).
“To lose your brother like that, we hold him dear to our hearts,” said tackle Chris Clark, who replaced Newton in the lineup. “When that happened to him, we all felt that internally. That’s not just another guy that went down. That’s our brother.
“Can you bounce back from that? I’m not talking about the team. I’m talking about him as a player. How do you even start rehab? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. We have a tight-knit group. We hold each other accountable and get things done together.”
Newton signed a five-year, $26.5 million contract in 2015, which included $10 million guaranteed.