A day after he found out his season is over, Texans quarterback Matt Schaub was already back to work with his teammates at the Methodist Training Center.
Schaub watched Thursday's practice in a hooded Texans sweatshirt and shorts, with a walking boot on his injured right foot. He could be seen providing constant instruction to quarterbacks T.J. Yates and Kellen Clemens on the sideline. He'll do much of the same this weekend, when he travels with the team to Jacksonville for Matt Leinart's first start as a Texan.
"I'm going to be there and helping out as much as I can with Matt and the guys and everyone, just being there as the leader of the team," Schaub said. "I think it's very important. It's part of my job. It's part of what I do. It's part of how I view the game and view my position to be there for the guys, whether I'm able to play or not."
Schaub will have surgery to repair his Lisfranc injury next Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C., with Bob Anderson, the same doctor he visited this week. After surgery, he faces 6-8 weeks of non-weight-bearing activity at the start of a long rehab process.
His reaction? According to Texans coach Gary Kubiak, it was, "What can I do to help? I want to continue to help the football team." And Kubiak, who has coached Schaub since 2007, wasn't the least bit surprised.
"To have the willingness to want to be out here and help just tells you what he's all about," Kubiak said. "He's not feeling sorry for himself.
"He's going help us. He's going to help me. I want him there with me on gameday because he knows these guys as good as anybody, and he needs to stay very much involved. I think there's a way he can help this team, so we'll give him a chance to do that."
Schaub already did that on Thursday by going over reads with Yates and Clemens, which Kubiak said freed up quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp to focus solely on Leinart. And Schaub has been in constant communication with Leinart, answering questions about his preparation as a starter, the game plan and how to attack certain plays in certain situations.
"I'm sure I'll turn to him in a bunch of things, just with reads, because he's been in this offense for a while," Leinart said on Wednesday. "I haven't run a lot of the things that we've done, which he's done hundreds of times, so it's just footwork stuff, it's just (getting) timing down, and he just offers his little advice on what he would do or his footwork and stuff and it goes a long way."
Schaub has had injuries in the past – missing five games in 2007 and five games in 2008 – but this one is understandably the most frustrating. He was having perhaps the best season of his career, and the Texans are having their best season, on the cusp of the first playoff berth in franchise history.
"After all the hard work I've put in and this team's put in, this organization, to get to this point – with six weeks to go, we're 7-3 and what's in front of us – that's the frustrating part, to not see it through with my team," Schaub said. "That's why it's so important for me to be here, help everyone out and be there to support Matt (Leinart) and what he's going to do and take over and do that to the best of my abilities.
"I can deal with the rehab. I can deal with the surgery. Not being able to see things through on the field – you know what, that's part of the game. Guys face it every day. There's plenty of people out there in this business and not in this business that have it way worse than I do or anything like that, so I'm not going to have that mentality that 'Why me?' or that type of outlook. I'm going to try to do the best I can to help our team reach that next step."