Texans have 1 more chance to end skid at Tennessee
HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Texans have one last chance to end their skid and avoid tying the worst record in franchise history when they travel to Tennessee for the season finale Sunday.
Houston’s fans might be hoping for a season-ending 14-game slide, since another loss would clinch the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft.
“It’s something you don’t want to have happen, but who knows,” Andre Johnson said of the possibility of losing again. “We’ll see what happens Sunday. We’re going to go out there and try to win, and hopefully we don’t have to go into the offseason with a losing streak.”
The already banged-up Texans will be in even worse shape against the Titans because of several new injuries.
Top cornerback Johnathan Joseph is out with a torn ligament in his big toe and last week’s starting running back Dennis Johnson is questionable with a hip injury. Deji Karim, his backup in the last game, is also out after breaking his collarbone Sunday.
That means the Texans are likely to have to start Jonathan Grimes, whom they signed off the street on Wednesday, at running back against Tennessee.
Grimes will be the fifth different running back Houston has started this season.
The Texans lost star Arian Foster for the season after back surgery in November and backup Ben Tate was placed on the injured reserve with a rib injury last week.
Interim coach Wade Phillips said they would also sign at least one running back this week because of the injuries.
There’s also uncertainty at quarterback with Phillips saying Monday that he isn’t sure if Case Keenum will return this week after sitting out against the Broncos with a thumb injury.
“We will practice tomorrow and we will see where Case is,” Phillips said. “He’s been rehabbing and been in a splint for a whole week, so we’ll see how he is.”
Matt Schaub, who was benched in favor of Keenum after six games, started against the Broncos and threw two interceptions and one touchdown. Phillips wouldn’t commit to Schaub starting again this week if Keenum isn’t healthy. Houston’s other quarterback is T.J. Yates.
“We’re going to look at all of that and see what the situation is for sure as far as injuries are concerned,” Phillips said when asked if Schaub would start.
Schaub, who has started for Houston since 2007, hopes to get another shot against the Titans after his tough game against Denver.
“We still have work to do,” Schaub said. “We want to finish this thing off right. As a group, we have got to find a way to get this negative taste out of our mouths, that we have been a part of for the past few months. We have to find a way to work through that as a team.”
The 37-13 loss to Denver was the second game with Phillips in charge since Gary Kubiak was fired. Phillips also coached one game in place of Kubiak earlier this season after he had a mini-stroke.
Houston trailed by just three points entering the fourth quarter on Sunday before Peyton Manning threw three touchdown passes to lead Denver to the win.
“They got a lot of points at the end that made it look it wasn’t a close game but it was a close game,” Phillips said. “Our team had an opportunity to win. As an interim coach, that’s what you want to try to do is get them to the point that they have an opportunity to win ... but it’s not just to get them an opportunity to win, but also to win the ball game. That’s what we have to do this last ball game.”
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