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Tampa Bay 17, Houston 13
Posted: Friday August 30, 2002 11:42 PM
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Houston Texans
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HOUSTON (Ticker) -- David Carr and the Houston Texans did not look ready for their NFL debut.

Carr suffered a sprained right knee and the Texans allowed defensive and special teams touchdowns in the first quarter of a 17-13 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their exhibition finale.

Next week, the games count, and the expansion Texans appear to have some problems. One spot where they thought they were set was quarterback, where Carr was installed as the starter after being tabbed with the top overall pick in the draft.

In his final tuneup, Carr completed 5-of-9 passes for 58 yards. But on his last play - the first of the second quarter - he took a hit to the knee and departed. The injury is not considered serious and he is listed as day-to-day.

"I felt a helmet on my knee," he said. "It looks like it's just a bruise."

By the time Carr left, the Texans (1-4) were in a 14-0 hole, even though the Buccaneers (1-1) did not score on offense.

With 8:09 left in the first quarter, Houston's Jonathan Wells fumbled. Dexter Jackson scooped it up and ran 21 yards for the game's first score.

Less than four minutes later, John Howell burst in and blocked Chad Stanley's punt. Aaron Stecker returned it 11 yards to make it 14-0 with 5:11 left in the opening period.

Wells partially atoned with a TD run and Kris Brown kicked field goals of 41 and 45 yards. But it was not enough for the Texans, whose first NFL game will be against intrastate rival Dallas on September 8.

Tampa Bay also opens with an intrastate game at Miami.