The Houston Texans officially placed cornerback Brice McCain on injured reserve with a designation to return and signed cornerback Stanford Routt on Wednesday.
McCain broke his left foot in Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans. Texans coach Gary Kubiak said on Monday that McCain underwent surgery to repair the fracture that morning.
Under the designated to return tag, McCain would be eligible to resume practicing in six weeks and be put back on the active roster in eight weeks, meaning the Texans would have to reach Super Bowl XLVII for him to play.
Routt had 21 tackles and two interceptions in seven games for the Kansas City Chiefs before being released in early November.
The University of Houston product spent the first seven years of his career with the Oakland Raiders. Routt has 258 tackles, 12 interceptions and two sacks in 117 career contests.
Houston's secondary has been hit hard by injuries in recent weeks, with both Pro Bowl cornerback Johnathan Joseph (hamstring) and fellow corner Alan Ball (foot) inactive for the Tennessee game.
The Texans will visit New England, which currently ranks sixth in the NFL in passing offense, in a Monday night matchup.