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Hard-luck Texans TE Joppru tears ACL

HOUSTON (May 18, 2005) -- Texans tight end Bennie Joppru could miss his third consecutive season after tearing a right knee ligament during an offseason practice.

An MRI exam revealed that Joppru tore the anterior cruciate ligament in a workout May 16. The team said he will undergo surgery sometime in the next two weeks.

There is no timetable for his return, though it generally takes players six to nine months to recuperate from such an injury.

"It's extremely frustrating. ... I feel bad for Bennie," Texans coach Dom Capers said. "He's had terrible luck since he's been here."

Joppru, a second-round pick in 2003, was hurt during the Texans' first coaching session of the offseason when he tried to make a cut while running a pass route. He crumpled to the ground and needed help getting off the field before being driven away in a cart.

The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Joppru was a star at Michigan but has yet to play in the NFL.

As a rookie, Joppru injured his groin during the first week of training camp and spent the rest of the year on injured reserve. Another groin injury sidelined him last season.

Joppru was fourth on the depth chart behind veterans Mark Bruener, Billy Miller and Matt Murphy, but Houston hoped he finally would compete for a starting role this season.

AP NEWS
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