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O’Brien Yet To Name Backup, But Thinks All Three Texans QBs Will Make Roster

By Matt Hammond, Sports Radio 610
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Case Keenum may lose his job.

But he’s likely to have a job.

With the Houston Texans.

Head coach Bill O’Brien on Friday said he’s yet to name his backup quarterback to starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, though he did say that even after his uninspiring performance in last night’s 40-13 rout by the San Francisco 49ers in the preseason finale, Keenum is likely to be on the 53-man roster.

When asked if he had decided between Keenum and rookie Tom Savage for the No. 2 quarterback job:

“No, nope, no. Obviously right now it’s either Case or Tom, but we have not decided on which one it is.”

When asked later about the likelihood that each of the three quarterbacks already on the roster will remain after the final round of roster cuts:

“I see that these three will be on the roster. I see that right now. As we sit here right now, I see that these guys will be on the roster. They’ve worked hard, it’s time to get ready for the regular season, and I can see a definite scenario that the three of these guys are here.”

O’Brien left himself plenty of wiggle room there, and with the Texans having the NFL’s top waiver priority, it’s possible that O’Brien uses it.

Keenum went 8 for 17 for 70 yards and an interception in the first quarter last night, his first start this preseason, to finish 20 for 35 with 184 yards and an interception, for a 59.7 quarterback rating.

“Early in the game, he made some decent plays,” O’Brien said.

“Case did some decent things.

“At the end of the half, I think he made a decision that he wish he would have back, where he kinda whirled around and just ripped the comeback to the left and it got intercepted. Part of that was the protection breakdown, things like that. But there were some good things.

“Obviously it wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t near where it needs to be, and we all know that.”

After taking over in the second quarter, Savage went 8 of 12 for 43 yards and an interception returned for a touchdown by 49ers rookie linebacker Chris Borland. Savage finished his first NFL preseason 19 for 26 for 134 yards and one touchdown to one interception, for an 81.2 quarterback rating.

“Savaage I thought again played more like a rookie,” O’Brien said.

“He’s a guy that’s only been here since right after the draft, he’s improved a great deal, but last night it kind of leveled off. He didn’t play as good as he wanted to play. I think a lot of that had to do with him, but also a lot of guys around him didn’t play very well.”

Either way, it’s clear that neither player is capable of stepping in relief of Fitzpatrick tomorrow, making Fitzpatrick’s health maybe the most important on the team. At least until either Keenum or Savage emerges as a capable backup, or O’Brien brings in a player from outside the organization.

Hear Matt weekends on Sports Radio 610

Follow him on Twitter @MattHammondShow

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