INDIANAPOLIS — During the buildup to the Houston Texans' matchup with the Indianapolis Colts, linebacker Brooks Reed called it the biggest game in franchise history. So you know the second-year Texan desperately wanted to play with homefield advantage on the line.
Instead, Reed will be sitting with the groin injury that's wiped out a large chunk of the second half of his season.
The Texans are doing what Colts coach Chuck Pagano insists he will not do in this game: Putting the playoffs first.
Reed showing up on the inactive list is something of a surprise, but it makes a lot of sense in a big-picture view. As much as the Texans want to win this game, they need a healthy Reed for the playoffs more. If he had any more trouble at all with the groin, why risk it?
In a way, one could argue the Texans are doing what Colts coach Chuck Pagano insists he will not do in this game: Putting the playoffs first.
Houston (12-3) already beat the Colts (10-5) a few weeks ago without Reed. Even if their run defense wasn't close to the same. After Reed was limited to a half in last week's loss to the Minnesota Vikings, he will miss his fourth game in the last five weeks.
Reed tore his groin in the Thanksgiving day win over the Detroit Lions.