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Leinart has fracture, will have season-ending surgery

Posted Nov 28, 2011

Texans quarterback Matt Leinart will miss the rest of the season with a fractured left collarbone, coach Gary Kubiak confirmed on Monday.

Texans quarterback Matt Leinart will miss the rest of the season with a fractured left collarbone, coach Gary Kubiak confirmed on Monday.

Leinart, who was injured in the second quarter at Jacksonville on Sunday, will have surgery within the next week. Rookie fifth-round pick T.J. Yates is now the Texans' starting quarterback.

“I visited with (Leinart) today at length,” Kubiak said. “Very disappointed, obviously, with his opportunity and what happened. We’ll move forward from there. The most important thing right now for me is moving forward with T.J. and Kellen (Clemens).”

Kubiak said the Texans will sign another quarterback, adding that he and general manager Rick Smith have discussed “a lot of players.” The Texans worked out Jeff Garcia, Brodie Croyle, Trent Edwards and Chase Clement last week with Clemens, whom they signed on Wednesday.

Kubiak did not rule out the possibility of bringing in retired quarterback Brett Favre.

“I don't think you rule out anybody,” he said. “I know there's a lot of names being mentioned. We’ve got to continue to work through the process. I'm not going to rule out anybody nor confirm anybody. I’m the guy that’s got to stay focused on T.J. right now, and the other stuff will get worked out."

Yates made his NFL debut on Sunday, completing 8-of-15 passes for 70 yards. He was inactive for the first 10 games behind Leinart and Matt Schaub, who suffered a season-ending foot injury in Week 10 at Tampa Bay.

“It’s T.J.’s opportunity and it’s his job," Kubiak said. "I told him and I told the team that today, but I also told the team we will bring in somebody else. We’ve got a young quarterback and a backup who’s been here for four days, so we’ve got to find some experience out there who’s been in a few rodeos, so to speak, and make sure we’re preparing ourselves for down the road. We still have a lot of football to play.”

Leinart was injured in his first start since 2009. A first-round pick by the Arizona Cardinals in 2006, he prepared diligently behind Schaub for the last two seasons in Houston. Coaches and teammates were excited about his opportunity, one that they felt was well-deserved.

That opportunity lasted less than two quarters. He finished 10-of-13 for 57 yards and a touchdown, with a passer rating of 110.1.

"I’ve been a little bit part coach, part counselor here the last couple weeks," Kubiak said. "I’ve got Schauby in my office all day last Monday, and then today I’ve got Lefty (Leinart) up there. It’s just difficult. It’s difficult for both of them.

“(Leinart) had been to the top in this league from the standpoint of opportunity, draft status, all that stuff. He had been knocked down in this league. He had been told no. He was making his way back, and you’ve got to respect that in a person and a player. He was playing well yesterday, and he was no doubt in my mind gonna do good things with this football team. So from that standpoint, we all hurt for him. But he is young. He’s a young man (28), so we’ll get him healed up. Don’t be surprised to see him come back and get ready to do it again. He’s made of the right stuff.”


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