Texans break down
And you think the Chicago Cubs are cursed?
Matt Leinart told reporters in Jacksonville that he is likely out for the season with a left shoulder injury. "I think there's a pretty good possibility I won't be coming back this season," Leinart said after lasting less than a half in his first NFL start in more than two years.
It's thought that Leinart has a broken collarbone. This would be the second time that Leinart's broken his collarbone in his career. The quarterback knows what the injury feels like.
ESPN's Paul Kuharsky first tweeted Leinart's quote.
Are you ready for the T.J. Yates era?
It's come to that for the Houston Texans—at least, for now. Leinart found himself knocked out of his first start in more than two years, shortly after throwing his first touchdown pass in 1,072 days.
Houston (8-3) ended up holding on for a 20-13 win over the Jaguars, winning their franchise-record fifth straight game without scoring a point in the second half with Yates leading the team.
With the Texans leading 17-10, Leinart couldn't come out on the field for Houston's last possession for the first half. Instead, he walked to the locker room to be examined while Yates jogged onto the field. Just like that, the Texans are down to their third-string quarterback—a fifth round draft pick. Starter Matt Schaub is already out for the season with a broken foot.
Leinart got hit throwing a 20-yard touchdown pass to Joel Dreessen, his best pass of the day. Leinart took a hard shot on his throwing shoulder on the play, but he came back to play another series and it's unclear if a later shot hurt the shoulder more. Jaguars defensive end Jeremy Mincey also delivered a hard shot to Leinart on a pass. His final line? Ten of 13 passing for 57 yards and a touchdown.
Yates—a 24-year-old rookie quarterback—made a quick impact. Texans coach Gary Kubiak had Yates come out throwing in the two-minute drill and the former North Carolina quarterback completed three of his first four passes for 39 yards, including a 24-yard throw to tight end Owen Daniels. He also was called for intentional grounding for throwing the ball away while under pressure in the pocket. But Yates did lead the Texans to a field goal that upped Houston's advantage to 20-10.
Yates first possession of the second half didn't go as well with Houston punting after a quick three and out.
Rookie T.J. Yates is now the quarterback entrusted with an 8-3 team thinking playoffs. Unless general manager Rick Smith can come up with another answer for a team that hasn't stopped winning—or losing major players.
For the Texans and coach Gary Kubiak, the Leinart loss is the latest in an almost bizarre string of injuries. Starting quarterback Matt Schaub and outside linebacker Mario Williams are also out for the season. Lifeline wide receiver Andre Johnson just returned after missing six games. Tailback Arian Foster, the NFL's reigning rushing leader, missed most of four games with a hamstring injury.
And on, it goes . . .
"I know he's very disappointed," Kubiak said of Leinart in his postgame press conference. "We'll keep our fingers crossed until we get home."
Leinart will get more X-rays when he returns to Houston, but he knows better than to expect anything different.