Ben Tate to IR; Case Keenum out

Updated: December 18, 2013, 4:29 PM ET
By Tania Ganguli | ESPN.com

HOUSTON -- Texans running back Ben Tate has been placed on injured reserve after aggravating a rib injury he suffered on Oct. 20. The Texans also ruled out quarterback Case Keenum for Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos

Keenum suffered a thumb injury on Sunday and sustained ligament damage.

Matt Schaub, who was benched in favor of Keenum, will start in his place.

"I know our real fans will cheer for Matt and our team," interim coach Wade Phillips said, likely referencing the boos Schaub has received at home.

"Ben Tate has a cracked rib," Phillips said. "This is his fifth one, so we had to put him on injured reserve."

Tate, however, tweeted Wednesday that he doesn't have a fifth broken rib but instead re-injured one that hadn't yet healed.

Tate initially broke four ribs against the Kansas City Chiefs that day. The Texans had already lost starting running back Arian Foster to a back injury, so Tate finished the game despite his injury. He played in the following seven games with it as well.

Tate has notched 771 yards on 183 carries, averaging 4.3 yards per carry this season.

Dennis Johnson will start in Tate's place with Deji Karim has his backup. The Texans also signed Jonathan Grimes, a running back who was in camp with the Texans in 2012, to be their third running back.

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter

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