The Houston Texans received brutal news this morning, as 2016 second-round pick and formally starting center Nick Martin will miss the 2016 after having ankle surgery. This news was broken by NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport, earlier today. Martin sustained the injury last week during a conjoined practice with the New Orleans saints.
Plenty of frustrating things about #Texans C Nick Martin's surgery. Worst thing is, he was playing great. They loved him. Now out for 2016
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 25, 2016
Expectations were high for Martin thanks to the success of his brother Zack, who is an anchor on the leagues best offensive line in Dallas. The team is devastated at the loss of Martin, and will now have to look elsewhere for a starting center. As of right now, it is believed that 2012 draft pick Tony Bergstrom will replace him, per Around the NFL writer Conor Orr.
The injury devastates Houston in a number of ways, including the running game. Houston was predicted to lead the league in rushing thanks to the improvements the team had made at the center position, as well as running back position with the edition of Lamar Miller. Houston is an extremely young team led by 25-year old former second round draft pick Brock Osweiler, who must now develop chemistry with another center. The development of the entire team is hindered due to the injury, because we will now have to wait another full season to see what this young offensive line can do at full strength.
Set to start next to Martin at the guard position in 2016 was the UCLA product Xavier Su’a-Filo, who has really opened eyes at training camp this season. Now with the loss of the Texans’ starting center for the season, Su’a-Filo must step up to keep the heart of that offensive line pumping. Expectations remain high for this new and improved offense, as the team made huge investments before the draft in Miller and Osweiler. Look for the team to continue pursuing a strong ground and pound style, but it cannot be ignored that the offensive line took a massive blow today.
Mark Wemken is the Carolina Panthers staff writer, as well as a fantasy football analyst for EndZoneScore.com. Follow him on Twitter for fantasy insight and breaking news on all things Carolina football: @MarkWemkenLWOS