Houston Texans backup quarterback Case Keenum was locked in a competition with T.J. Yates to stay on the roster, and Keenum unsurprisingly won out with youth being an advantage. He didn’t exactly play well last year as Matt Schaub’s replacement, but he wasn’t terrible either and proved that he can at least be a competent backup in this league. Texans head coach Bill O’Brien recently named Ryan Fitzpatrick as his starter and rookie Tom Savage looks like Fitzpatrick’s main competition for the gig, but Keenum is still on the roster as a darkhorse after Yates was traded to the Atlanta Falcons to be Matt Ryan’s backup.
Keenum moves from a competition with Yates for a roster spot to a competition against Savage for the No. 2 gig behind Fitzpatrick. There are still no guarantees that he’ll make the roster, and this is reflected in comments he’s made following the Texans decision to name Keenum the winner over Yates.
A favorite of former head coach Gary Kubiak, O’Brien took the time to praise Keenum heavily for his intangibles, via the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain, “He’s a hard worker. He’s a bright guy. He’s a good teammate. He’s coachable, puts in a lot of time, and he’s working extremely hard at it.”
We already knew that Keenum has very good intangibles, so I think it’s more interesting that there are no quotes from O’Brien praising his backup QB’s actual skill-set. In any case, Keenum has his work cut out for him, but I would be a tad surprised if he doesn’t stick around on the roster. O’Brien didn’t rule out adding a quarterback to replace him, so that’s the only scenario I can see that would cause the team to cut ties with Keenum.