Following their season-ending loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, the Houston Texans announced that executive vice president of football operations and general manager Rick Smith will be taking an extended leave of absence, effective immediately.
Smith has been tending to his wife throughout this season while she has undergone treatment in Arizona. His leave of absence comes after a hard 4-12 season for the Texans that brought rumors of a "toxic" relationship between Smith and coach Bill O'Brien. He said while he loves the organization and the team, his family is his first priority. However, the most important thing at the moment is the health of Smith's wife.
Smith has been the Texans' GM since 2012. He also thanked team owner Bob McNair and his family for their support as he spends more time with his family.More news: Michigan's minimum wage set to rise on New Year's Day
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It has been a season of struggle for the Texans in 2017. There's some uncertainty as it relates to head coach Bill O'Brien and general manager Rick Smith. "I'll meet with him, I'm sure, at some point, and we'll decide what direction he wants to go".
O'Brien, 31-33 in Houston, is entering the final year of his contract in 2018.