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Tag:Houston Texans
Posted on: November 28, 2011 6:43 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 9:51 pm
 

Yates to start, Kubiak won't 'rule out anybody'

Posted by Will Brinson



Earlier Monday we learned that injured Houston quarterback Matt Schaub was fully behind (former) third-string rookie T.J. Yates and his ability to succeed as a starter with the Texans. Even better news came out late Monday afternoon: coach Gary Kubiak is on board with Yates as well.

Kubiak confirmed on Monday that Yates would start for the Texans in Week 13 and also confirmed that Matt Leinart is out for the season.

"We are going with T.J. It’s T.J.’s opportunity and it’s his job and I told him and I told the team that today," Kubiak said after Monday's practice. "But I also told the team that we will bring in somebody else. We’ve got a young quarterback and a backup who’s been here for four days, so we’ve got to find some experience out there, who’s been in a few rodeos, so to speak, and make sure we’re preparing ourselves for down the road."

  Who will that quarterback be? Well, Kubiak also left open the ominous, but unlikely, possibility of a certain retiree joining the Texans roster.

"I don’t think you rule out anybody," Kubiak said when asked if he could eliminate Brett Favre from the discussion. "I know there’s, like I said, a lot of names being mentioned. We’ve got to continue to work through the process. I'm not going to rule out anybody, nor confirm anybody."

On Sunday night, Peter King of Sports Illustrated reported on NBC that he talked with Favre and Texans general manager Rick Smith, and both said there was no mutual interest in a return to the NFL for No. 4, even in a good situation like the Texans offer.

So it seems pretty unlikely that Favre will get a call from Houston, if he would even respond. Favre doesn't really make all that much sense for Houston, given that they're already fully committed to running the ball and shutting teams down defensively. Yes, he's got more experience than Yates (who, as we noted, is already UNC's greatest NFL quarterback, with just over a half's worth of statistics). 

But Favre also brings a pile of drama to the table, with no guarantee for success, and that might be too much of a gamble for the Texans to take.

Of course, if Yates struggles, well, you can't rule anyone out.

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Posted on: November 28, 2011 4:26 pm
 

Schaub gives T.J. Yates his seal of approval

T. Yates looks to be Houston's starting quarterback for the foreseeable future (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Now that Matt Leinart is unofficially done for the season after cracking his left collarbone Sunday, it appears the Texans are going to take their chances with fifth-round pick T.J. Yates as the starting quarterback for the foreseeable future.

My colleague Will Brinson wrote a little about him in this week’s Sorting the Sunday Pile, but aside from Yates, who was 8 of 15 for 70 yards in relief of Leinart, holding the title of the best quarterback ever to emerge from UNC, we know very little about his ability to start in the NFL.

But considering the other Texans options, where else could they turn for a starter? Probably not Kellen Clemens, who was signed last week. Probably not Sage Rosenfels, who somehow has become a candidate to be claimed by Houston on waivers despite being placed on the Reserved/Non-Football Illness list with the Dolphins last month. And definitely not tight end Owen Daniels, who was actually the emergency backup to Yates on Sunday after Leinart left the game.

For now, it seems like Yates is the only man standing. And that’s OK by original starter Matt Schaub.

“T.J.’s been with us now for quite a while,” Schaub said on KILT in Houston, via sportsradiointerviews.com. “He’s been in our meetings; he understands our system. Obviously, you don’t want to give him an incredible amount of new stuff. … At the same time, we have enough guys in this locker room that have played enough football and they’re solid players. We’ve got some talent on our team and they’re going to have to pick up their play. We’ve dealt with injuries now all season. It seems like a broken record, but that’s what we’ve done and there’s something special about this team.”

And Yates is the guy that can continue that special season?

“T.J., for being a rookie, he’s probably picked this offense up to the point where he can function in it well, faster than anyone I’ve seen, including myself,” Schaub said. “That’s a big credit to him, because this is not an easy offense to pick up. … I, personally, have a ton of confidence that he’s going to go in there and play very well.”

After the game, Gary Kubiak talked about how Yates plays the game fast and that he has all the starting quarterback characteristics. Yet, Kubiak also acknowledged that he's barely taken any reps. Which means the Texans don’t really know what they have with Yates. For good or for bad.

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Posted on: November 28, 2011 1:21 am
Edited on: November 28, 2011 1:38 am
 

Sorting the Sunday Pile: Week 12

Posted by Will Brinson


Sorting the Sunday Pile takes all of Sunday's NFL action and figures out the most important storylines for you to digest. Send your complaints, questions and comments to Will Brinson on Twitter. Make sure and listen to our Week 10 podcast review below as well and feel free to subscribe via iTunes.

 
(Ed. Note: Monday's podcast will be up around lunch due to some travel/family stuff.)

1. Run Like Hell -- Er, Heck

Every week, Tim Tebow takes the field as the Broncos quarterback, and every week everyone sits around and snarks at the Broncos running the ball an obscene number of times. Sunday's 16-13 overtime victory in San Diego featured Tebow toting the rock a ridiculous 22 times.

Just for some historical perspective, Tebow's now the only player in post-merger NFL history to attempt 20 rushes and 10 passes in a single game.

People rip the guy for ruining the quarterback position, or not playing it in a "real" way, but everyone very conveniently ignores three factors. One, he can make throws -- a pair of touchdown strikes to Eric Decker in the past two weeks were the difference between 2-0 and 0-2. Two, Tebow simply doesn't turn the ball over. Only 22 quarterbacks since 1970 have finished the year with 250-plus passing attempts, less than five picks and less than five fumbles. Tebow could be No. 23. (Aaron Rodgers could be No. 24.)

And most importantly, the Broncos have a strong running game with Willis McGahee, and an even stronger defense that no one wants to give credit to. If someone else, like a Brad Johnson-type, is quarterbacking this team, the defense gets all the credit. Because it's Tebow, that's the focus.

That's just how it is, and that's fine. After all, Tebow's now beaten every single AFC West rival this season on the road. He is a story. He is the story.

But maybe -- with all due acknowledgement of the silliness involved in "clutchability" -- it shouldn't be all that surprising that Tebow and the Broncos bested Norv Turner and the Chargers in the fourth quarter and overtime. Eking out victories from teams willing to hand over a win thanks to silly mistakes is the modus operandi of the 2011 Broncos, and giving away wins with silly mistakes is what Turner's Bolts teams do best.

San Diego's now last (!) in the AFC West and the only bright spot to this season, outside of Ryan Mathews emerging as a viable feature back if he can stay healthy, is the likelihood of Turner being shipped out of town following this season. You can like or dislike Turner all you want, and he's turned Philip Rivers into one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but this Chargers team needs some fresh blood.

Denver's one game back of the playoffs thanks to holding a tiebreaker over the Jets, and they've got the tiebreaker over the Bengals too. A game-managing quarterback plus a running game plus a stout defense has had success in the NFL before.

So if you're still hating on Tebow, just quit and enjoy the ride.

2. Bear Down, Again

Ignore for a second the fact that Bears starting quarterback Caleb Hanie doesn't even know how to properly spike the ball at the end of the game. And ignore that he finished 18 of 36 with three interceptions on the day in Chicago's 25-20 loss to Oakland Sunday.

Because the Bears are still going to make the playoffs. Or, at least, they can.

As noted last week, Chicago's still got a very Chicago formula for making it to the postseason, with Devin Hester on special teams (kudos to Hue Jackson and Shane Lechler for avoiding him Sunday) and a defense that sacked Carson Palmer four times Sunday and limited the Raiders to just a single touchdown.

That type of play will go a long way against opponents like the Seahawks, Vikings, Chiefs and Broncos, all of whom are on Chicago's schedule the rest of the way in. And a quick look at our 2011 NFL Playoff Race Tracker reveals that only two worthy teams in the NFC will actually be shut out of the postseason (the Lions and the Giants are currently odd men out).

I'm not a huge fan of moral victories, especially when an actual loss reveals just how poorly your backup quarterback can play. And don't get me wrong -- Hanie has plenty of flaws and won't make things easy for Chicago the rest of the way. But if you're the Bears, you have to believe Sunday's showing means a playoff berth is still possible.

3. T.J. Yates: An All-Time Great

The case of T.J. Yates is a weird one. Thanks to a (likely) season-ending injury to Matt Leinart, Yates appears to be the de facto starter in Houston and, as Pete Prisco pointed out in his grades column, next in line to suffer a nasty injury as a result of the football gods really not wanting the Texans to smell success.

But you know what makes Yates' case even weirder? He's probably the most successful NFL quarterback in North Carolina Tar Heel history, despite being a rookie, having never started a game and despite having accumulated his career passing numbers -- 8/15 for 70 yards and no touchdowns -- on Sunday in backup duty.

That's because the only other option for "top NFL quarterback in UNC football history" is Scott Stankavage, who played in four games over two NFL seasons with the Broncos (three in 1984) and the Dolphins (one in 1987) and managed to complete 32 percent of his 25 attempted passes for 66 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. (In fairness, Yates is also one of only two UNC quarterbacks drafted since the merger, which is insane.)

His entire career wasn't as successful as Yates' Sunday afternoon in Week 12.

4. "Fire Who?"

The fans want it, as evidenced by the Eagles crowd raining "Fire Andy" chants on the field amid New England's 38-20 shellacking of Philly.

"The way we played, I can understand," Reid said afterward.

It's never easy to sympathize with any supporter of Philly sports, mainly because they're too vitriolic in their reaction. (There's a reason the battery-throwing, Santa Claus-booing stereotype exists.) And it's real easy to laugh at the Eagles plight, especially after they "won the offseason" with a ton of free-agent moves and name-brand signings.

But suggesting that the Eagles should dump Reid is silly, especially when there's a smarter path to success.

1) Fire Juan Castillo. This is coming anyway, you gotta think, and it's not that unreasonable. 2) Re-work the defensive scheme. Hire someone who can take the incredibly talented defensive group Philly has and actually utilize them properly. 3) Dump DeSean Jackson. He's ridiculously talented, but Jackson's got the look of a guy who's wrecking this locker room with contract and attitude problems. (Or maybe, as Clark Judge wrote Sunday, he's a symptom of a larger problem. Either way, he's not helping and he's not happy.) 4) Draft/trade/sign linebackers, safeties and offensive linemen in the offseason and actually address weaknesses.

This isn't an "easy" solution, of course. But this Eagles team has too much talent and Andy Reid's got too much success in Philly to simply blow everything up because the Dream Team experiment went awry in the first season.

He's also inherently tied to Philly's franchise quarterback, Michael Vick. One more bad year from both guys and it might be worth discussing a change, but just because Philly fans are naturally angry doesn't mean Eagles management should have a naturally knee-jerk reaction to 2011.

5. Why So Serious?

There's no reason to sit here and get in an uproar over Stevie Johnson's touchdown celebration against the Jets, in which he mocked Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes by pretending to shoot himself in the leg and then crash a plane. (Besides, Bob Costas' "get off my lawn" Sunday night halftime rant took care of that.)

I like the move, because it's a big-time slap in the face to the Jets, the Bills need some swagger, and as long as you back up your trash-talk, do what you want.

The problem with Johnson's TD is that as soon as he pulled off a celebration mocking a pair of wideouts on the other team, his game went in the toilet. (Stop me if this sounds familiar.)

Look, I think Johnson's an awesome talent and a great dude and if I'm in charge of meting out discipline, someone who landed a helmet-to-helmet hit on Sunday is washing Johnson's white t-shirt collection, just because his celebrations are hysterical.

But if you're going to publicly mock a colleague for literally shooting himself in the foot, you can't turn around and spend the rest of the game figuratively doing the same thing to yourself and your team, which is precisely what Johnson did when he egged on a would-be game-winning touchdown catch in the fourth quarter:



That's exactly why I refuse to get all amped up about whether what he did was right or wrong. Johnson will almost certainly be fined by the NFL. Johnson will -- as Mike Freeman's already noted -- be subject to league-wide and public scorn. And, most importantly, his team lost because after his premature celebration, the Jets wideouts were substantially better than Johnson was.

6. Shananigans

There's no chance that any other football journalist or fan or couch-bound pundit knows as much about managing a football team as Mike Shanahan. The man has two Super Bowl wins. Enough said.

But why on Earth did it take so long to get Roy Helu touches?

The Redskins rookie running back rumbled for 108 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries and caught seven passes for 54 yards in Washington's surprise 23-17 comeback victory in Seattle Sunday.

This would be shocking, but Helu already set the franchise record for receptions in a game three weeks ago, and averaged five yards per carry more than Ryan Torain two weeks ago, so giving him the rock seemed obvious to everyone ... except Shanahan.

Seattle's rush defense is one of the best in the NFL (3.5 yards per carry allowed going in and coming out of the loss), so it's not like Helu was carving up the Panthers or Colts here.

The obvious reward for his impressive game on the ground and remaining Rex Grossman's most reliable target is a much-deserved, one-carry afternoon next week against the Jets. Don't say I didn't warn you, fantasy owners.

7. 0-Fer

The Colts became the first NFL team to be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs on Sunday, just minutes before the Rams were booted as well, thanks to their 27-19 loss to Carolina in Indy Sunday.

Everyone knew they were already eliminated, of course, and everyone knows they'll land the top-overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, but the big question is, can the 2008 Detroit Lions keep their bottles of Andre on ice for the time being?

Probably not -- Indy looks like a pretty good lock to finish the season at 0-16, based on their remaining schedule.

First up in Week 13 is New England (in Foxboro) and there's no reason to spend time wondering if Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will get trapped against a one-time arch-rival in a free "kick 'em while they're down" game. They won't. At Baltimore in Week 14 should be a lock for a double-digit blowout too. The Ravens have stumbled against bad teams, but not at home, and no one's had a defense as bad as Indy.

Tennessee (Week 15) and Houston (Week 16) at home shouldn't present challenges for Indy when it comes to losing either, considering that both teams appear to have capable rushing attacks. Even if Chris Johnson still looks like he's wading through a giant jar of jelly when he hits the hole, he's been effective against bad rushing defenses this year.

That leaves at Jacksonville in Week 17, and which isn't even their best chance at being favored (read: getting more than a 50 percent chance of winning from Vegas). That will be Tennessee, but the Titans will still be favored by at least three points in Indy, like the Panthers were.

And none of the remaining teams on the schedule have a defense nearly as bad as the Panthers, which means there's a 60-plus percent chance Indy goes winless this year. At least.

8. Rookie of the Year Race

Fortunately, we get to honor a Defensive and Offensive Rookie of the Year in the NFL. Because otherwise, we might have a big old heated argument about who the most deserving rookie in 2011 is. Last week, I threw my [substantial only in the literal sense] weight behind Andy Dalton leaping past Cam Newton for the top rookie, but now I'm not so sure.

That's not because Cam went bananas in a win on Sunday so much as it was Dalton only beating the Browns because he's got another rookie -- wideout A.J. Green -- on his team, who might secretly be the best option for the award on the Bengals roster.

Cincy remained in playoff contention -- they're currently the No. 6 seed -- thanks to Green making big catches to set up scores all day.

On the defensive end of things, Von Miller continued to state his case for ROY honors with 10 total tackles and another sack. And what about Patrick Peterson, who returned a fourth punt return for a TD on the year? Dude's defensive improvement is underrated so far this year, especially in a tough situation, and it'll be interesting to see how his game-changing impact on special teams will rate for voters -- three of his teeters have, literally, been game-winning scores.

9. A Quarterback League

Watching the Chiefs stifle the Steelers for much of the Sunday night game -- eventually won by Pittsburgh 13-9 -- was picture proof of how important having a good quarterback really is. Matt Cassel might have struggled against the Steelers defense, but Tyler Palko was absolutely miserable, going 18/28 for 167 yards and three picks.

The same can be said for Jacksonville, who knocked Matt Leinart out against Houston, but couldn't muster any sort of offense because no one would respect Blaine Gabbert, much less McCown.

Teams that don't have a good quarterback can still win by playing smart and running the hell out of the ball, but the Jaguars and Chiefs are great proof as to just how quickly a team can fade out relevancy as a result of lacking substantial skill under center.

The Jacksonville and Kansas City defenses have put their respective offenses in decent position to win games over the past couple of weeks, but an inability to move the ball resulted in a pair of losses for each squad. (Romeo Crennel's defensive scheming against Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger was particularly impressive, and even more depressing when you think about how badly it was wasted.)

Which is precisely why it's impossible to be too bullish about the playoff chances for teams like the Texans and the 49ers.

10. And the Oscar Goes To ...

Jerome Simpson for the flop of the NFL season. And maybe NFL history? It's hard to even call this a "storyline," because it's not. There's no epidemic of flopping hitting the NFL and Christian Ronaldo isn't going to be defecting any time soon.

But Simpson's flop, which you can watch here, is just too amazing to ignore.

Oh yes, and the Bengals snuck one out against the Browns, holding onto their sixth seed in the playoffs. They've got the look of a team that isn't quite ready to quit trying out this possible pipe dream of a postseason run, but if they play like they did against the Browns when they get the Steelers, Texans and Ravens over the next three weeks, it's hard to imagine them sneaking in with three 6-5 teams (Titans, Jets, Broncos) hanging out on the fringe.

And that flop wouldn't be nearly as pretty as Simpson's.

Muffed Punts

Leftovers from Sunday's Action ...
... Percy Harvin's 104-yard kick return that didn't produce a touchdown on Sunday was the longest non-scoring play in NFL history.
... Peterson is also the only player in NFL history with four punt return touchdowns of 80-plus yards or more in a season.
... And the Rams-Cardinals game was the first in NFL history to feature an 80-plus yard punt-return TD from each team.
... Cam Newton is just the fourth post-merger quarterback to rush for 10 touchdowns in a season, joining Steve Grogan, Kordell Stewart and Daunte Culpepper on that list.
... Chris Long recorded his 10th sack of the season, meaning he and dad Howie are just the second father-son combo to record double-digit sacks in a season in their career, along with Clay Matthews and his dad, Clay Matthews.
... The Bengals overcame a 10-point halftime deficit for the third time this season, tied for the most in NFL history, along with the 2011 Lions.
...

Worth 1,000 Words



GIF O' THE WEEK

There might be a better option, but watching Tim Tebow hit his X button two seconds too early and then get laid out is pretty entrancing.


Hot Seat Tracker

  • Norv Turner: Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune believes "no playoffs = no more Norv." So, probably no more Norv.
  • Jim Caldwell: If they go 0-16 and draft a new franchise quarterback, how can they carry over the same staff? They can't right?
  • Steve Spagnuolo: He just lost back-to-back games to Seattle and Arizona. Talk about a free-fall.
  • Jack Del Rio: It's a good rule of thumb that if you're flopping your first-round rookie for a McCown brother that your job is in trouble.
  • Tony Sparano: Even if he keeps winning, you gotta think Stephen Ross goes window shopping this offseason.

Chasing Andrew Luck

The Colts have all but locked up the Luck sweepstakes, and with the remaining schedules, we might as well take the numbers off the board. Congratulations for ruining a mini-feature in this column by Week 12, Curtis Painter. You jerk.

MVP Watch

Speaking of jerks, "tanks for nuthin'" Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers has one more holiday game left -- a Christmas showdown with the Bears. And the Packers could still lose a game and maybe come back towards the Patriots (if Tom Brady stays hot?), but he's all but sewn up this award pretty early in the season.

Posted on: November 27, 2011 4:52 pm
 

Leinart confirms he might be done for season

M. Leinart might have broken his collarbone Sunday (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It appears that the Texans might have lost their second quarterback for the season in back-to-back games. Two weeks ago, it was Matt Schaub and a foot injury, and today, in Houston’s 20-13 win against the Jacksonville, backup Matt Leinart was knocked out of the game with a possible broken collarbone.

"I think there's probably a pretty strong possibility I won't be coming back this season,” Leinart told reporters afterward, indicating he had broken his left collarbone for the second time in his career.

Leinart had played decently in place of Schaub, going 10 of 13 for 57 yards and a touchdown. But after throwing an incomplete pass, he was driven to the ground midway through the third quarter and appeared to hurt his shoulder. Fifth-round rookie T.J. Yates relieved Leinart and managed the game well enough to keep the Texans in front.

Now, it looks like next week’s starter could be a competition between Yates and Kellen Clemens, who signed as the third-string quarterback last week. Since the Texans probably don’t want to play emergency-emergency quarterback Owen Daniels, better known as a tight end, Houston likely will sign another quarterback this week.

Last week, Jeff Garcia, Trent Edwards and Brody Croyle worked out for the Texans, so signing one of those three wouldn’t be a surprise.

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Posted on: November 27, 2011 11:59 am
Edited on: November 27, 2011 12:55 pm
 

Hillis, Andre Johnson to make their returns today

Hillis

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Peyton Hillis hasn’t played since Week 6, and he’s only competed in four games this year because of a hamstring injury or strep throat or because his agent, eyeing a potential big payday, told him not to suit up and to go home instead.

His five-game streak of not playing, though, will end today, because he’s on the Browns active list against the Bengals along with running backs Montario Hardesty and Chris Ogbonnaya and is expected to see action. His carries probably will be limited, but just having him back could spark the Browns against their in-state rival. [UPDATE 12:54 p.m. ET:] According to multiple reports, Hardesty tightened up during warmups, and now, it appears Hillis will start.

JohnsonWhile Hillis somehow has become less important to his team after his monster year last season, the Texans best offensive player not named Arian Foster also will return. Andre Johnson, out for the past seven games with a hamstring injury, will return to the starting lineup Sunday.

The return of Johnson, who seemingly has been week-to-week since hurting himself in Week 4, couldn’t come at a better time for Houston. As the Texans look to stay in front for the AFC South title and their first-ever playoff appearance, they’re forced to start quarterback Matt Leinart with Matt Schaub out for the rest of the season.

And while Houston’s run game is one of the best in the league, Foster, Ben Tate and Derrick Ward also will be much less effective if their opponents can keep eight defenders in the box. Having Johnson back, making up for some of Leinart’s deficiencies, could make the Texans more two-dimensional, which will be a key component in order for Houston to land in the postseason.

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Posted on: November 23, 2011 12:12 pm
Edited on: November 23, 2011 1:32 pm
 

Texans place Matt Schaub on IR, sign Clemens

ClemensPosted by Josh Katzowitz

While there had been some hope, however slim, that Matt Schaub could return from his foot injury sometime this season and lead the Texans into the playoffs, that has been dashed.

As Rapid Reporter Brandon Williams writes, the Texans have placed Schaub on the season-ending IR list. Which obviously is devastating news for the Texans. Now, as CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman tweets, Houston's season has just been placed on IR as well.

Also, you can scratch off the Texans as potential suitors for newly-waived quarterback Kyle Orton. That’s because the team has signed former Jets quarterback Kellen Clemens to the squad.

At this point, it doesn’t appear Clemens will be competing with Matt Leinart for the No. 1 spot, abandoned by Schaub because of his season-ending injury. Instead, Clemens, a 2006 second-round pick of the Jets, will back up Leinart and rookie T.J. Yates.

As was pointed out Tuesday, Clemens tried out for the Texans on Monday along with Jeff Garcia, Trent Edwards and Brody Croyle, and they went with a quarterback who, at one point, seemed a potential alternative to Mark Sanchez in New York.

What this also means is that the Bears might have a better shot of claiming Orton off waivers -- teams will have until 4 p.m. today to make a claim. Since Houston and the Chiefs are in need of a quarterback and since both had priority over Chicago, one potential foil for the Bears is out of the running.

Which means we might really see Orton return to his old team to try to save the day.

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Posted on: November 22, 2011 6:31 pm
 

Reports: Texans out on Orton, Bears interested

OrtonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Since the Broncos made the big news of the day by giving Kyle Orton a huge break waiving former starting quarterback Kyle Orton, speculation has run rampant on Twitter about the next chapter of Orton’s career journey.

The two most popular choices are the Bears and the Texans, although the Chiefs, who would have waiver priority over Chicago and Houston, also would make sense.

Well, according to the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain, you can count out the Texans for making a claim on Orton.  Writes McClain: “Texans aren't interested in Orton. if (injured quarterback Matt) Schaub learns Wednesday he needs surgery, they'll sign one of vets they brought in for tryouts Monday.”

The Tebow era officially begins...
Among the group of veterans who performed for Houston’s staff were Jeff Garcia, Trent Edwards, Kellen Clemens and Brody Croyle. While you’d think Orton would be a better choice than any of those signal-callers, the Texans apparently are content to see how Matt Leinart will fare.

The Bears, though, might have real interest. The Chicago Tribune’s Vaughn McClure confirms the speculation that the Bears will make a claim on Orton, though Orton doesn’t have any experience in offensive coordinator Mike Martz’s system. Also, as the Trib's Brad Biggs points out, since the Bears are 30th in the waiver order, they could not bother making a claim and then try to sign him to their own deal if nobody else has taken him already.

And CBSSports.com’s Clark Judge makes this point: “Both need him, but Chicago really needs him. I mean, whom would you trust -- Caleb Hanie or Kyle Orton? Orton not only has been with the Bears; he helped lead them to the playoffs. Teammates loved him then, and they will love him again ... because he's a quarterback who can win and who has won. I'm not so sure about Hanie.”

The waiver deadline is Wednesday at 3 p.m., so for now, all we’ve got is speculation. And who knows? The team which is first on the waiver wire, the Colts, are in desperate need of a quarterback as well.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: November 21, 2011 3:37 pm
 

Andre Johnson expected to return this week

Johnson

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It sounds like the long-awaited return of Texans receiver Andre Johnson will come this week -- just in time for Matt Leinart to replace the injured Matt Schaub at quarterback for the rest of the season.

That’s what coach Gary Kubiak said today when he shared the news that Johnson practiced with no problems.

“He took all his reps with the team,” Kubiak told reporters. “All systems should be go this weekend."

If that’s the case, it’d be the first time since Johnson injured his hamstring in Week 4, and it’d be welcome news for a Texans squad trying to figure out how it’ll survive the rest of the season without Schaub.

In other Texans injury news, safety Danieal Manning, one of the reasons Houston’s defense has become such a strong unit this season, returned to practice for the first time since breaking his leg in Week 7.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com