The team said Wednesday that he will be placed on injured reserve because of a nerve issue in his neck.
Slaton, who ran for 1,282 yards last season, has had a fumbling problem this year and the Texans recently revealed that the injury on his right side was more serious than they initially believed. He saw a specialist Tuesday.
Coach Gary Kubiak said the specialist believes the problem will heal on its own in 4-6 weeks, but surgery could be an option if it does not.
"This is not career threatening," Kubiak said. "Steve's going to be fine. He will play and play well. Everything is going to be OK. They just said that right now he doesn't need to be taking any hits over the course of the next month.
Slaton has 437 yards rushing with three touchdowns this season. The Texans will now rely on Chris Brown and Ryan Moats at running back, starting with Sunday's home game against Seattle.
Houston could also get help from Arian Foster, a rookie who has appeared in two games on special teams, and Chris Henry, who will be elevated from the practice squad to take Slaton's roster spot.
Kubiak, who did not have any more specific information on the injury, said Slaton should be ready for next season even if he eventually has to have surgery to correct the problem.