Ravens right tackle Rick Wagner leaves the game against the Houston Texans on the back of a cart with a foot injury.
Ravens right tackle Rick Wagner leaves the game against the Houston Texans on the back of a cart with a foot injury. (Kevin Jairaj, USA Today Sports)

Both of the Ravens' starting offensive tackles were in walking boots late Sunday afternoon as they limped out of the locker room.

It was that kind of game for the Ravens as their 25-13 loss to the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium took a physical toll and put a dent in their playoff hopes.

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Right tackle Rick Wagner injured his foot in the fourth quarter and didn't return. Although Wagner had crutches with him, he wasn't using them.

Wagner hasn't been ruled out for the Ravens' regular-season finale next week against the Cleveland Browns, and there's still a chance that he will play depending on how the foot responds to treatment, according to a source.

Left tackle Eugene Monroe also was in a walking boot after injuring his foot. Monroe was limping after the game.

"I'm not talking about that," Monroe said when asked about his injury.

Running back Justin Forsett sprained his ankle and left the game in the fourth quarter and was replaced by rookie Fitzgerald Toussaint, who rushed for 11 yards on four carries. Forsett didn't return, but he downplayed the severity of his injury after the game.

"I got my ankle rolled up under me," Forsett said. "I was fine. It's not severe."

When Wagner left the game, rookie James Hurst replaced him and struggled against Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.

After Monroe was injured, a line shuffle ensued with Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda shifting over to right tackle, rookie guard John Urschel stepping in for him at right guard and Hurst moving to left tackle in place of Monroe.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh declined to give an injury update after the game.

During the first half, quarterback Joe Flacco appeared to be shaken up and backup Tyrod Taylor started throwing on the sideline. Flacco and Harbaugh both said there was no injury.

"Nothing was said to me by the trainers, but we'll find out if there is something," Harbaugh said. "He was fine in the locker room just now."

Flacco said he was just adjusting his pads on the sideline.

"I was not injured," Flacco said. "There was one time when I was trying to buckle my shoulder pad, maybe that's what you saw."

Wide receiver Torrey Smith said he dealt with cramps on a few plays.

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"That was kind of off and on," he said. "When I was running, it happened."

Texans' trickery

The Ravens' defense did a solid job of preventing Texans running back Arian Foster from breaking the game open with the exception of a 34-yard run.

Foster finished with 96 yards on 25 carries, averaging 3.8 yards per run.

What the Ravens didn't have an answer for was Foster throwing a touchdown on a 5-yard halfback option pass to rookie tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz in the second quarter for the Texans' only touchdown. All of their other scoring came from kicker Randy Bullock on six field goals.

"Everybody wants to be a quarterback," Foster said. "I feel like I have a good arm, man, so I've been lobbying since I've been in the NFL. They finally called it.

"I'm great at quarterback, I feel. We've been practicing it, never with a person tackling me before, but I just kind of trusted that he was going to get off the block and be there, and he was."

Emotional postgame

Veteran wide receiver Steve Smith is known for his feisty nature, and that was on display in the locker room after the game when he got angry with reporters.

Smith showed the most frustration of the Ravens players after the game.

When asked how much he was concerned about the Ravens' offensive problems, Smith replied testily: "Won't you write it and then I can tell you how much [BS] it is. All right? OK?"

Smith had few words to say about a jersey exchange with Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson.

"We exchanged jerseys," he said. "I'm not going to give you much more than that."

Film study

The Texans spent a lot of time going over past game film of the Ravens and may have gone back to the preseason.

It was in an exhibition game against Washington that the Redskins first exposed the Ravens' weakness to picking up blitzes up the middle.

Several teams have had success with the same tactic during the course of the season, but few tried in the last couple games.

"We had a couple of blitz packages that RAC (defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel) drew up that they were having a hard time picking up," Texans safety Danieal Manning said. "I think one time, they picked it up and they ended up scoring on a screen, but for the most part it was a great defensive effort we had out there."

Flacco said: "I think they did a good job of creating a lot of disruption upfront and making me feel uncomfortable."

End zone

Ravens defensive end Chris Canty started despite an ankle injury that sidelined him in practice all week. Although Canty didn't practice, he was expected to play after making progress throughout the week and resting his ankle. The Ravens scratched rookie wide receiver Michael Campanaro (River Hill), nose tackle Terrence Cody, cornerback Chris Greenwood, inside linebacker Arthur Brown, center Gino Gradkowski, center-guard Ryan Jensen, and defensive tackle Casey Walker.

mike.preston@baltsun.com

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