The Houston Texans will place tight end Owen Daniels on injured reserve with the designation to return, meaning he will miss at least the next eight weeks, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Owens suffered a non-displaced fibula fracture late in Sunday night's game against the San Francisco 49ers. A source had said he was likely to be sidelined four to six weeks with the injury.
"I was hoping I was just being a wimp and it was a bad bruise," Daniels said Wednesday. "... The best thing to do for myself and my team is bringing an extra body in and give me enough time to heal up and not rush anything."
Daniels said when he suffered the injury he thought it was a severe leg cramp. Another player landed on his leg as he made his final catch of the game. Daniels ran off the field even after the break and didn't think much of it.
"Where the injury location is it's very risky to do surgery," Daniels said. "Major nerves and a lot of stuff going on. If it's not displaced they just let it heal up. No need for a cast; it's not a weight-bearing bone. I'm not on crutches, I'm walking around. It's a little bone, a non-weight-bearing one."
Daniels is tied for the team lead in touchdowns with three. Garrett Graham, who also has three TD catches, will replace Daniels in the starting lineup.
The Texans lead the NFL in plays run using two tight ends, so Daniels' departure could also lead to the emergence of rookie Ryan Griffin, a sixth-round pick.
Daniels, 30, has been one of the Texans' most consistent offensive players the past two seasons, during which he's missed only two games. He has 24 receptions for 252 yards this season. His last major injury was in 2009, when he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Week 9.
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and ESPN.com Texans reporter Tania Ganguli contributed to this report.