The worst-case scenario became the reality for Houston Texans outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus.
According to NFL.com, the standout former first-round pick is out for the rest of the 2017 season with a torn pectoral muscle.
Mercilus suffered the injury very early in Houston’s Sunday night loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He went down during a play in obvious pain, enough that the man blocking him quickly waved over to the Texans sideline for immediate medical help.
A few short plays later, J.J. Watt suffered his devastating knee injury. Mercilus will not get anywhere near the notoriety or attention for his injury, but his loss is quite significant too. No. 59 was capable of lining up all over the formation at linebacker, a very effective pass rusher but also adept at playing the run or handling short-area pass coverage.