Head coach Gary Kubiak told the quarterbacks last week heading into the bye and informed the team of his decision before practice on Monday. The Texans’ seven-year starting quarterback was obviously disappointed when he heard the news, according to Kubiak.
“We talked for a long time,” Kubiak said. “He’s a competitor. He wants to be the guy in there. I understand that. I know it’s very difficult on him. It’s very difficult on me too to be honest with you. But I’ve got to make decisions that are best for the football team right now. We talked through it. We move forward. His attitude’s good. He’s back to work today trying to get himself ready to play.”
Schaub returned to practice on Monday after suffering a foot/ankle injury in Week 6 against St. Louis. He was inactive for the Texans’ 17-16 loss at Kansas City when Keenum was given his first NFL start. Kubiak said his decision to start Keenum was based on his performance and not Schaub’s health.
“Yeah, it’s obviously very disappointing for me after all we’ve been through here and all we’ve accomplished and done,” Schaub. “But I’m part of the reason we’re in this situation as a football team. It’s his decision. He’s the head coach. As a player and a competitor, I don’t like it. I want to be out there.”
“Since I got the call from the Texans after the Draft, one of the next phone calls I got was from Matt,” Keenum said. “From the very get go, he’s been an incredible guy on and off the field to me. I owe him a lot of what I’ve learned over the last few years.”
Keenum, who spent the 2012 season on the practice squad, will get his first NFL start at Reliant Stadium on Sunday. The Abilene-native finished his University of Houston career as the NCAA all-time leader in total passing yards (19,217) and passing touchdowns (155) and is looking forward to playing in front of a Houston crowd once again.
“I imagine I’ll have a few more goose bumps than I did last week,” Keenum said. “Obviously, it was a very cool atmosphere last week, but, to play in Houston, to play in Reliant, I know this atmosphere, I know what it’s like and I know Sunday night it’s going to be very special. I’m really excited to play in Houston.”