The injury occurred with 3:53 left in the first quarter of Houston's 22-17 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday, when Texans running back Dameon Pierce rushed for a 3-yard touchdown to put Houston up 9-0. Dell was blocking on the play, and one of his legs got caught in a pile of Broncos defenders as he fell to the ground. The medical cart came out for Dell as his teammates gathered around him. He was officially ruled out at halftime.
C.J. Stroud, who threw for 274 yards with one touchdown, was emotional after the game when discussing his teammate's injury.
"You see your brother putting in so much work and be so helpful. One thing about Tank is he's very unselfish, and to see him go out, the game of football is tough, man. It's tough," Stroud said as his voice cracked. "It's cold. It's not easy. I got to be there for him ... I can try to be positive about it, but it's tough, man. I'm hurt. I can't sugarcoat it. I love my brother to death and I'm praying for him and I'm here for him no matter what."
Coming into the game, Dell had 47 catches for 709 yards and seven touchdowns. He had a four-game streak of catching at least one touchdown.
"To lose Tank there with a leg injury, it hurts our team because of what he means to our team, not only on the field but off the field," Texans coach DeMeco Ryans said. "Tank always has a huge smile on his face, always full of energy, and it just really hurts losing Tank."
Nico Collins had a big day in Dell's absence, finishing with 191 yards, tied for the fifth most by a receiver this season. He was also shaken up about Dell's injury.
"Man, it hurt bad," Collins said. "You don't ever want to see someone get hurt. You see the hard work he puts in every single day. Hate to see one of our brothers go down like that."
The Texans, who next face the New York Jets, will look to Noah Brown, who had 172 receiving yards in Week 10 against the Cincinnati Bengals, 2022 second-round pick John Metchie III and Robert Woods to replace Dell.
NFL Network first reported the nature of Dell's season-ending injury.