The Houston Texans announced Wednesday that defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will take a medical leave of absence because of a surgical procedure scheduled later this week. He is expected to return later this season, though the team wasn’t specific.
TV station KRIV reported that Phillips’ leave will last “a couple of weeks.”
In his first year with the Texans, Phillips has guided Houston’s defense to a dramatic turnaround while converting it from a 4-3 to a 3-4 scheme. The unit is currently ranked No. 1 overall — giving up just 274.9 yards per game — and is a big reason for the team’s 10-3 record and first AFC South title in franchise history. Last year, the Texans finished 30th overall (376.9).
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Losing Phillips is another setback for the Texans, who have experienced their share of adversity this season. The team is playing with third-string rookie quarterback T.J. Yates after losing starter Matt Schaub and backup Matt Leinart for the season. Also, top wide receiver Andre Johnson has missed a total of seven games because of injuries to both hamstrings.