For the first time since 2011, someone other than Matt Schaub will start at quarterback. Case Keenum, who was undrafted in 2012 after a record-setting career at the University of Houston, takes the reins in Week 7 under center. And his teammates are behind him.
"I think he's got what it takes to lead us to victory," left tackle Duane Brown said. "He's worked hard and I think he's made a big jump from last year to this year. He's got a lot of talent. He
has a big arm. He's mobile and looking forward to it."
Head coach Gary Kubiak announced the decision to the team during a Thursday morning meeting. Keenum got the starter's reps during the afternoon practice and, Kubiak shared the news with the media around 1:30 p.m. Andre Johnson is confident in the young signal-caller, and lauded him for his work ethic.
"He's been working his butt off," Johnson said. "It's an opportunity he's been waiting for. He has it and I'm sure he'll do well with it."
Keenum was on the practice squad as a rookie in 2012, and was inactive through the first six games this season. He started the final preseason game of 2013 at Dallas. The last time
Keenum was under center during a game that counted in the standings was in January of 2012, when his Cougars thumped Penn State in the Ticket City Bowl in Dallas.
Running back Arian Foster was an undrafted rookie in 2009. Among other things, he's encouraged by Keenum's enthusiasm for the game.
"He's a young cat, so he gets real excited out there," Foster said. "I think he brings another element of his legs to the game. I'm excited to see what he's going to do."
Keenum and the Texans will practice again Friday, and leave for Kansas City on Saturday afternoon. They'll face the Chiefs (6-0) at 3:25 p.m. CT on Sunday.