Quarterback Matt Schaub hasn't given up on returning this season from his right foot injury, but he knows the chances are slim.
The Texans will find out next week if there's any chance that Schaub, who has started 46 consecutive games, will be able to play again this season.
"Of course I'm holding out hope," Schaub said Tuesday on SportsRadio 610. "I'm not one to give in to something like this that easily. It doesn't look good. My foot's pretty much the size of a cinder block right now, but who knows. I don't run around too much, anyway, although my past couple weeks after a few rushing touchdowns say otherwise. But we'll just see how it goes.
"It's not visibly looking too good. When you look at it, it's pretty colorful and everything. It's pretty sore and beat up right now, but we're going to search out some other opinions and just do as much as we can to get it right here in the near future and see what can happen."
Schaub will visit with doctors next week from Charlotte, N.C., and Indianapolis to see if he can avoid having season-ending surgery. He said that there's "no way" his injury is career-threatening.
Schaub was injured during a quarterback sneak on Sunday at Tampa Bay. Bucs defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (6-6, 350), who knocked Schaub out of a game with the Tennessee Titans in 2007, fell on the back of his foot.
"I'm extremely frustrated," Schaub said. "I'm pretty bummed, to put it lightly, that this happened, especially on such a small play. I wish it would've been on me diving over the top of a pile to get in the end zone and then it would've meant a little bit more. But it's part of football."
Schaub's injury occurred late in the second quarter. He played through the midway point of the fourth quarter before leaving the game. He said that doctors have not told him he exacerbated his injury by playing in the second half.
"As long as I could stand on my two feet at halftime and coming out of the gates in the second half, they were basically going to have to cut my head off to get me out of the game," Schaub said. "There was no way I wasn't gonna be out there. That's just the way that was gonna go down. But they didn't say anything after the fact here, looking at things, that I could've done anything worse to it."
Through 10 games, Schaub ranks sixth in the NFL with a 96.8 passer rating. He ranks second in the league with a career-high 8.5 yards per pass attempt. He has thrown 15 touchdowns with only six interceptions.
The 7-3 Texans have a 1½-game lead in the AFC South and are the No. 1 seed in the AFC. They're above .500 through 10 games for the first time in franchise history.
"We were having such a great year," Schaub said. "We were playing so well as a group. In five years, I haven't seen guys have so much fun on a Wednesday at practice or at the beginning of a Thursday practice, one of the more mental, grinding days of your week. Guys are just having fun and loving the game. It was just fun to be a part of.
"To have this happen with all that in front of us, it's definitely tough, because you saw the transformation of this team and this organization over the last five years. So it's a tough pill to swallow."
Schaub voiced support of Matt Leinart, who's taking his place in the starting lineup. Leinart has not started a game, or thrown a pass, since the 2008 season with the Arizona Cardinals.
In the last season-and-a-half in Houston, Schaub said Leinart has come to the Texans' facility "at the crack of dawn" to watch film and go over the playbook with him. He and Leinart have been in constant communication, and Schaub has no doubt Leinart could execute the full playbook if need be.
"Matt's extremely prepared," Schaub said. "This isn't his first rodeo in this league. He's played some football in this league. He knows how to play the quarterback position. All the talks that we've had preparing and mentally getting ready for games, he's on top of our offense and what we're doing.
"In the face of battle and everything, you can just see he has a poise about him. He's going to get the guys in the right situation. He's going to drop back and he's going to understand what the defense is doing and get the ball to the right guy. He's going to rally the troops. He's going to do a great job.
"I have all the confidence that Matt's going to go out there and take this team where we're going to go this year, and that's the playoffs and beyond and go get a Super Bowl championship."