The Texans have signed quarterback Jake Delhomme and placed quarterback Matt Leinart on injured reserve.
Delhomme, 36, gives the Texans a veteran presence behind rookie T.J. Yates, who is now starting after season-ending injuries to Leinart (left clavicle) and Matt Schaub (foot). Delhomme worked out for the Texans on Tuesday along with 41-year-old Jeff Garcia.
"I thought both of them worked out well," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Tuesday, according to the Houston Chronicle. ""Some coaches I talked to spoke real highly of Jake. They think he'll fit in perfectly with what we were looking for. I think he's a good fit with T.J."
Kubiak said Monday that the Texans were looking for a quarterback "who's been in a few rodeos," and Delhomme certainly fits the bill. He started 96 games in 10 seasons with the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers and Cleveland Browns, including eight playoff games with Carolina. He has a 5-3 career postseason record and led the Panthers to Super Bowl XXXVIII at Reliant Stadium in 2004.
Delhomme retired after appearing in five games last season for the Cleveland Browns. Since then, he had been spending time with his family and raising racehorses in his hometown of Breaux Bridge, La. He drove to Houston, about a three-hour-and-15-minute trip west on Interstate 10, for his Tuesday tryout.
Delhomme said Wednesday that he had passed on other opportunities to come out of retirement, a couple in training camp and during the season.
"I really and truly wasn't sure if I was ever going to play again, and I was OK with that," he said, thick Cajun accent and all. "I was fine with that. I was at peace. But this opportunity kind of came about, and when you can come and just to be a part of a team that's making a push, there's nothing like it.
"There's some kind of sense around this team. It's kind of nice. For me, it's eerily similar to a lot of the teams that we had in Carolina. I think we had some solid teams there. We had just a bunch of guys that came to work every day, practiced fast and it was important to them."
Delhomme said he's ready to be a "sounding board" for Yates, who he met for the first time on Wednesday morning.
"I want to be a mentor, but honestly, he's a mentor to me right now," Delhomme said. "I firmly believe if you can teach one little thing, you pass it on, it's a legacy you leave. We're going to be spending a lot of time together, and as I get more familiar with this system and we get more familiar with each other, there'll be little things I tell him. But he has some very good coaches, also."
From 2003-08 with the Panthers, Delhomme threw 112 touchdowns with 71 interceptions and went 50-30 as a starter. He had a cumulative passer rating of 85.7.
In the last two seasons, in with Carolina and one in Cleveland, Delhomme threw 10 touchdowns and 25 interceptions. He had two touchdowns and seven interceptions for the Browns in 2010 after suffering a high-ankle sprain in the first quarter of the first game.
"I spent more time in a walking boot last year than I did in cleats," he said. "Very disappointing, but things happen for a reason. You just have to battle through it. I was somewhat proud of the fact that of the four games I started, I was able to lead the team to two wins, and we didn't win too many last year. That's just the way things happen."
Now, Delhomme is ready for one more chance with the Texans.
"The NFL retires you; you don't retire from the NFL," he said. "It's the only job in the world where you don't want to retire. They make you. So it's great. I'm a member of the Texans, and I'm very proud and very happy. It's good to be here."
Leinart finished the season 10-of-13 for 57 yards and a touchdown in less than two quarters of action. Kubiak said he'll have surgery on Thursday in Los Angeles. Schaub had surgery on Wednesday and is expected to be back with the team on Friday.