Well, this is just as much a bummer today as it was yesterday. Ben Tate will undergo surgery for his severe ankle injury, one that he suffered in yesterdays game against the Cardinals.
Part of the reason this one hurts a little more than others, aside from the obvious on-the-field impact, is Tate's personality. He's a studious player who seems to commit himself fully to the sport. I distinctly remember him turning down an offer to go to a party soon after he was drafted so that he could be in tip-top shape for OTAs (I might have been doing a little Facebook stalking). You don't always see that kind of dedication from players who haven't even stepped on the field. Not only that, but he's very accessible to fans. Leave him a note on Facebook and he might even get back to you. Kerns managed to get a hold of him twice. Speaking of, Kerns has this thing for Tate...
Assuming this is a multi-month injury (according to Kubiak, a timetable for return should be released tomorrow), it's a pretty significant blow to the Texans' backfield. Not only was a second-round pick the highest the franchise had ever used on a tailback, but Tate was supposed to, at the very least, be the answer to the short-yardage, goal-line situation problems that plagued the team last year. That won't be happening. The backfield situation now looks like a combination of mostly Arian Foster, some Steve Slaton (though we know how much Kubes hates fumbles) and whoever can win the battle between Jeremiah Johnson (a former love-child of Kerns) and Chris Henry (former BE-SF, which says all you need to know about him). That's certainly not a bad group, but it has no clear-cut back who can punch it through in tough yardage situations around the goal-line. Kubiak conceded the team will probably look at the free agent market for possible answers. Bring back Chris Brown? Just kidding. Don't ban me. Too late? OK.
Sources close to the situation (i.e., Tim) have confirmed that Kerns has been taken off suicide watch now that the injury isn't necessarily season-ending. To cope with the situation he's put Tate's two carries on repeat and is currently on his 540th view, box of napkins at his side.
We should get more information on the situation tomorrow so keep your eyes glued.
UPDATE: The Chronicle is reporting Tate will definitely be placed on injured reserve. This is Pankcakes reporting though, so take it with a grain of salt. Nothing on that side of the story has come out from the Texans' official website. Stay tuned.