Allen Kim

Texans To Start Case Keenum With Schaub Out

Created on Oct. 17, 2013 4:11 PM EST

The Houston Texans, slated to face the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday, are going to be playing with a new face behind center. Coach Gary Kubiak has decided to give second-year QB Case Keenum the nod to start Week 7, and they’ll be looking for him to help the team get out of their slump.

With Matt Schaub sitting out due to an ankle injury, the Texans opted to let T.J. Yates takes the reigns last week. However, Yates was disastrous playing in place of Schaub, and with Schaub officially ruled out for Week 7, Kubiak has decided to give Keenum a chance to see what he can do.

"He continues to grow, and we're struggling and looking for a spark," Kubiak said. "I think he deserves an opportunity to go out there."

Schaub is already on a short leash, and if Keenum can play well against the Chiefs’ stout defense, he could lock himself into the starting position even when Schaub is healthy.

“When we first got him, he wasn’t taking snaps from center very well,” offensive coordinator Rick Dennison said. “Underneath center, he’s done a lot of that and obviously understanding the system, but he’s a bright kid who works very, very hard.”

Keenum certainly has the pedigree after he ended his collegiate career with NCAA records for passing yards, touchdowns and completions while at the University of Texas, but there are still some questions about his abilities. He isn’t known for having a particularly strong arm, which would limit any potential explosive plays downfield. However, he’ll have Arian Foster to ease some of the load with the Chiefs likely to stack the box to stop the run.

“I think operating is going to be a big key to this game, just operation before the snap and getting us into the right plays, dealing with the noise and silent cadence, and putting the ball in the right place,” Keenum said. “Managing the game I think is going to be a key this week.

“I got a lot more practice reps and it was fun. It was fun running our offense and getting ready to play a game. That’s how I’m seeing it right now and trying to bring a lot of energy and fun to practice this week and the game. I think today was a good start.”

Keenum will need all the practice reps he can get in preparation for their game against the Chiefs, and the timing couldn't come worse for him to get his first start.

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