With Matt Schaub in Oakland, there's a huge question mark looming over the quarterback position in Houston.
The looming position battle took a turn for the dramatic last week, when all four quarterbacks (Ryan Fitzpatrick, T.J. Yates, Case Keenum, and rookie Tom Savage) opened OTAs splitting reps.
At the time, head coach Bill O'Brien called the competition "wide open," according to Brian T. Smith of The Houston Chronicle. However, O'Brien later conceded to 93.7 FM in Houston that the odds are against Savage becoming the Week 1 starter:
I really think that it’s important that that guy learns in his first year. I think it’s very, very, very difficult to play quarterback as a rookie, especially in the first 6-8 weeks of the season in your first year. We’ve got veteran quarterbacks here… those guys are battling out for the starting job, and Tom’s in there, and he’s battling too, but hopefully Tom can come into this season and learn a lot, and run the scout team, and then go from there after this season.
That isn't to say that there aren't rookies from whom big things are expected from by the Texans. First overall pick Jadeveon Clowney will be counted on to bolster the team's pass rush, but like Savage, Clowney missed last week's workouts to attend the NFLPA Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles.
O'Brien insisted that it wasn't the players' fault they missed workouts, but the coach didn't sound overjoyed about it while speaking with Tania Ganguli of ESPN.
"That’s something they were mandated to go to that," O'Brien said. "Hopefully they got a lot out of it and now they’re back and they have to catch up."
However, while Clowney and Savage are back at it, another member of the Texans' 2014 haul remains on the shelf. Defensive tackle Louis Nix, who Houston selected in the third round of May's NFL draft, has been sidelined with an undisclosed injury.
O'Brien didn't sound overly concerned, according to Deepi Sidhu of the team's website.
“He's got something wrong with him but I’m not sure what it is,” he said. “I think he’ll be fine.”