Keenum Out, Schaub Starting

Nightmare revisited? Case Keenum is out at QB: Matt Schaub starting again — why not Yates?

Case Keenum is out at quarterback: Matt Schaub starting again

Case Keenum Texans Pats
Case Keenum has been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Broncos with a thumb. Photo by © Michelle Watson/
Matt Schaub Texans grasp
Yes, that means Matt Schaub is somehow starting again. Photo by © Michelle Watson/
Case Keenum Texans Pats
Matt Schaub Texans grasp

Case Keenum's chance to prove he deserves a shot to be the Houston Texans starting quarterback next season has hit a major injury roadblock.

Keenum's been ruled out of Sunday's game against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos because of a torn ligament in his right thumb (his throwing hand) and may not be able to play in the season finale at Tennessee either. The injury came during the complete battering the former University of Houston star took in Indianapolis.

So with Keenum out, what do interim head coach Wade Phillips and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison do? They go back to Matt Schaub.

 It's a curious move, one that seems to make little big picture sense. Why not give T.J. Yates a shot at this point? 

It's a curious move, one that seems to make little big picture sense. Why not give T.J. Yates a shot at this point? Again, the Texans already know what Schaub can and can't do. There is absolutely no future for No. 8 in Houston.

The 26-year-old Yates on the other hand could still possibly be in the picture — even if it's a long shot. Sure, Yates was clearly beaten out by Keenum — in the preseason and on, no matter what Gary Kubiak's initial depth charts said. But is he really worth no look at this point?

Yates led the Texans to the first playoff win in franchise history. Sure, he played a horrific quarter and a half in relief of Schaub back in that blowout loss to the St. Louis Rams on Oct. 13, but does that mean he's forever banished?

Starting Yates could have brought a smidge of excitement and intrigue for Texans fans. Now, there will just be more Matt Schaub booing and Peyton Manning ogling.

It's hard not to root for Phillips in his coaching quest (I wrote back on Nov. 10 that he deserves another head job somewhere and that ageism is the only explanation for him not getting more chances), but curious decisions like this make one wonder.

Meanwhile, Keenum is in a splint and Phillips said he couldn't even grip the football on Wednesday in a news conference shown on