1. Evaluate the QB situation
Head coach Gary Kubiak called Case Keenum's debut in Kansas City "impressive." With Matt Schaub on the mend from injury, Kubiak is at a crossroads when it comes to his starting quarterback. Follow the spark that Keenum created or give the seven-year veteran another chance to right the ship that is 2-5.
"I've got to sit down and look at our situation and what's going on right now. Obviously, Matt's our starting quarterback. Case (Keenum) play this week because Matt wasn't healthy. Case went in and played extremely well. I'm going to sit down, we're on a bye week, I'm going to evaluate where we're at as a team and move forward form there. So I'm going to do that everywhere, not just at the quarterback position, I'll do that at every place."
2. And then there were two…
The Texans have two inside linebackers and two running backs remaining on the active roster. With three rookies cut for violating team rules and injuries at both positions, the team needs bodies heading into the second half of the season.
Brian Cushing undergoes surgery this week and will be out for the year. Rookie Justin Tuggle moves from inside linebacker to outside linebacker with Willie Jefferson gone. That leaves Darryl Sharpton, Joe Mays, and Mike Mohamed at ILB. Sharpton has already had his share of injuries and despite playing, he has not been able to practice since before the Week 3 game at Baltimore.
"With Willie, we've got another need for an outside guy," Kubiak said. "So (Bryan) Braman plays the Will and Tuggle becomes the backup Sam. So that gives us our four guys there to work with and obviously (Darryl) Sharpton and Joe (Mays) will work inside. We've got (Mike) Mohamed. We activated Mohamed for this game. He played very well for us on special teams. Now, we've got a need to get some more inside help. So that's what we'll do."
Having both Arian Foster and Ben Tate hurt in Sunday's 17-16 loss really hurt. With Cierre Wood inactive at KC and then cut for violating team rules, the Texans desperately needed a third running back. Kubiak alluded to Ray Graham, who is currently on the practice squad.
"Yeah, we've got a young man who we've been very impressed with," Kubiak said. "Ray Graham's been practicing really well for us."
3. Fix up special teams
Jefferson and Wood were special teams contributors before being cut. Danieal Manning could have potentially been the threat at kick returner before he went on IR with a knee injury. Keshawn Martin took over kick returns after Manning went down, but is struggling with a shoulder injury that he suffered in San Francisco.
"I'm a little concerned about him (Martin)," Kubiak said. "He did not practice the last two weeks. He took a shot to play in the game, so he toughed it up for his football team. It's been difficult. I don't think he's totally been himself. Some of the moves we may make here in the next couple of days could include us finding somebody who can return kicks too, but I think Keshawn will be better. He's got two weeks now. He had a very beat up shoulder coming out of the game two weeks."
Mohamed and cornerback Elbert Mack were signed to the active roster last week to help out on special teams on the same day Manning and A.J. Bouye were placed on injured reserve. Kubiak said he saw some improvement in special teams, despite the injuries, but knows there is more work to be done.
"Actually, we improved in a lot of areas yesterday," Kubiak said. "I thought Elbert Mack came in and gave us a lift and played extremely well for us. Mohamed gave us a lift. Eddie (Pleasant) played good. The special teams are a little bit like the offense and defense in my opinion. We're playing a pretty good football game and we give up our two biggest returns when we needed to cover most in a 17-16 game, in both situations, both kickoff and punt. But that was the same thing offensive and defensively. I could say the same things. But any time you have injuries on your team, it filters down to the special teams, so we've got to find a way to help Joe (Marciano) and Lig (Bob Ligashesky) with some of that."