Matt Leinart Injured: No Longer the Luckiest Quarterback in the NFL

Job TennantCorrespondent IINovember 27, 2011

JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Matt Leinart #11 of the the Houston Texans looks to pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars November 27, 2011 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. Leinart left the game after an injury and the Texans won 20 - 13. Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Matt Leinart was the luckiest back-up quarterback in the NFL two weeks ago when Matt Schaub went down for the season. Leinart was a former top 10 pick with all of the tangible skills that made him a Heisman trophy winner and a national champion and he was given the best defense, the second best running game and possibly the best receiver in the NFL at his disposal.

Leinart is no longer the luckiest quarterback in the NFL. He left the game with just under two minutes left in the second quarter with what is likely a season ending injury. The early reports are that he has a broken collarbone but even if there is a less significant injury, there is a good chance that he is done for the season.

He started the game pretty well going 10 for 13 for 57 yards but more importantly he had a nice touchdown pass and no interceptions. The coaches seemed comfortable with Leinart throwing the ball as they didn't simply give the ball to Arian Foster and Ben Tate.

Now the Texans have some serious issues that they have to deal with at the quarterback position.  T.J. Yates was serviceable for half of a game but he is clearly not a long term solution for a team with aspirations of making it deep into the playoffs. 

With that said, he might be their best option. He knows the system as well as anyone after spending his college career in a similar system and this entire season in Kubiak's system to learn what it is that he needs to do. Kellen Clemens, who the Texans signed last week, was not suited up today because he didn't know the system well enough to step in and play.

It is fair to assume that Yates has not gotten many, if any, snaps with the first team offense but he might be getting them all starting Tuesday. If that is the case, then hopefully he has an extreme learning curve and can elevate his play.