Howard was hurt Tuesday night in a 4-1 loss at Tampa Bay. He left the game in the second period, unable to put weight on his right leg.
The Red Wings placed him on seven-day injured reserve the following day.
Howard is 5-7 with a 1.96 goals-against average this season. The Red Wings called up Jared Coreau from the Grand Rapids Griffins to take Howard's spot on the roster Wednesday.
Coreau has played in one NHL game, a 5-3 loss to Pittsburgh earlier this month. He ranks among AHL leaders this season with 11 wins, a 2.18 GAA and .924 save percentage.
The Red Wings, who have lost five of their last six games, visit the Florida Panthers on Friday night.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.