Texans backup battle goes down to last preseason game, and possibly beyond


In Houston, coach Gary Kubiak knows his starting quarterback will be Matt Schaub.  But Kubiak still doesn’t know who’ll be Schaub’s primary understudy.

The battle between T.J. Yates and Case Keenum continues into the preseason finale, where Keenum will get the start and the two candidates for No. 2 will each play one half of the game.

“What I’ll do is I’ll start Case this week,” Kubiak told reporters on Monday.  “They’ll both play a half of football going into this one.  Obviously, they’re going to be playing with a bunch of young players, but I think it’s been extremely close.  It would be hard to make a decision today.  But if I would have to make one, I’d make one.  I think this game is still important.  They’ve continued to get better, each of them, and push each other.  I think it’s going to be a good thing for our football team.  I’m going to hold off here and let them play this week and then we’ll probably lock in before we go into our total San Diego process which would be the following Thursday.  I’m going to let them compete one more week and see how it goes.”

Either way, the two candidates are getting close to the finish line.

“It’s time to lean,” Kubiak said.  “First off, they both needed to play a lot.  The preseason is so important to your backup quarterback, whoever that is, so they are going to get to play a bunch this week.  At the same time, they are going to be playing with a bunch of young players that we’re trying to make decisions on in other areas.  I understand that, but I just think they need the experience.  We’ll see how they handle it.”

The Texans have been very impressed by Keenum, undrafted in 2012 out of Houston.  As his game develops, some have wondered whether he’ll skip over Yates on the way to leapfrogging Schaub.