Whether it was a thumb injury or the 0-8 record as a starter, the Houston Texans finally decided they won't have Case Keenum play quarterback Sunday against the Broncos.
It's a tough break for the Broncos as veteran Matt Schaub gives the Texans a more qualified quarterback.
Keenum had received unwavering devotion from the brain trust of the Houston Texans. An undrafted second-year quarterback from the University of Houston, Keenum was 0-8 in his audition this season. He had been playing ahead of veteran Schaub, who struggled mightily with pick-sixes earlier this season, but is a two-time Pro Bowler and played well in beating the Broncos last season.
But at least Schaub has proven he can lead a team to victory. Schaub gives the 2-12 Texans a better chance in their game Sunday against the 11-3 Broncos at Reliant Stadium.
Keenum suffered an injured thumb on his right throwing hand Sunday in an inept 25-3 loss to Indianapolis, but if he proved to be healthy he might have seen a ninth start this Sunday against the Broncos.
“We went through that eight games ago,” said Phillips, who became the interim coach after Gary Kubiak was fired two weeks ago. “A lot of that was wanting to see what kind of quarterback we have in Case. He's certainly done some good things in the passing game and that's (how) you evaluate the quarterback.”
And won-loss record. Keenum has completed a below-average 54.2 percent of his passes with nine touchdown passes against six interceptions while averaging a respectable 220.0 passing yards in his eight winless starts.
On the other side of the ball, Phillips' defense will try to prevent Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning from setting the single-season record for touchdown pass Sunday at Reliant Stadium. Manning has thrown 47 touchdown passes, three shy of the mark Tom Brady set in 2007. Brady broke Manning's record of 49 touchdown passes set in 2004.
Manning's 48th and 49th scoring passes that season came against the San Diego Chargers, whose defensive coordinator was Phillips.
“I was there when Walter Payton set the record for yardage,” Phillips said about the 1984 game when the Bears' Payton broke Jim Brown's all-time rushing record in a game against the New Orleans Saints. “He only had to have 30 yards or whatever. It's part of history. I don't think it's specifically to the team I'm with that made them make the records. I hope it's not.”