HOUSTON — Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson sustained a season-ending knee injury in practice on Thursday, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.
The rookie suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in one of his knees and will go on injured reserve.
His injury is the latest blow to a team that lost three-time NFL defensive player of the year J.J. Watt and linebacker Whitney Mercilus to season-ending injuries on Oct. 8.
The former Clemson standout had been a bright spot in a challenging season for the Texans (3-4). The 12th overall pick in this year's draft was the AFC offensive player of the month after throwing for 1,171 yards with 16 touchdowns and running for 145 yards and another score.
Watson's 19 touchdown passes are tied for the league lead and are the most in NFL history through a player's first seven games. He leads all quarterbacks this season with 21 touchdowns overall and has thrown four or more touchdown passes in three games this season to join Fran Tarkenton as the only rookies in NFL history to do so.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney talked about Watson's injury and noted that he rebounded from the same injury when he was with the Tigers.
"I talked to Deshaun late this afternoon and we are disappointed," Swinney said. "But, he is a person who has had some setbacks in his life, and always comes back stronger. Since he went through the rehab before, he knows what it takes."
Watson also tore his ACL in 2014 as a freshman at Clemson.
Tom Savage will now start for the Texans.
LUCK ON IR: Andrew Luck will spend a second offseason recovering from shoulder surgery.
The Indianapolis Colts put Luck on injured reserve Thursday, marking the end of his season and the beginning of a different rehab program that team officials believe will get their star quarterback on the field next fall.
After having surgery in January for a partially torn labrum in his throwing shoulder, Luck missed all of Indy's offseason workouts, all of training camp, the entire preseason and now the entire 16-game regular season.
Luck didn't even start throwing to teammates until early October and was limited to throwing every other day. Just two weeks later, he was "shut down" because of soreness his right shoulder.
49ERS' GARCON DONE: The San Francisco 49ers will place leading receiver Pierre Garcon on injured reserve for the remainder of the season with a broken bone in his neck.
The 49ers (0-8) said Thursday that Garcon has a non-displaced fracture of the C5 pedicle. The typical rehabilitation time for that type of injury is eight weeks.
Garcon led the team with 40 catches for 500 yards before getting hurt last weekend in a loss at Philadelphia. Garcon had signed a five-year deal this offseason as a free agent that could be worth up to $47.5 million and was one of the few bright spots for a winless team that has been decimated by injuries.
Garcon was on pace for the second most catches and third most yards in his career despite getting suspect quarterback play from Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard.
The injury leaves the Niners with Marquise Goodwin, rookie Trent Taylor, Aldrick Robinson and undrafted rookies Kendrick Bourne and Victor Bolden Jr. as the healthy receivers on the roster.