HomeTrade RumorsCase Keenum Named Starting Quarterback for Texans in Week 15

Case Keenum Named Starting Quarterback for Texans in Week 15

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Davis Mills has dressed as the Texans’ backup quarterback each week this season with C.J. Stroud operating as the starter. The latter is out for Sunday’s game, though, which led to the expectation Mills would be elevated to the No. 1 role on a temporary basis.

Instead, Houston will give the nod to Case Keenum. As ESPN’s DJ Bien-Aime notes, the veteran is now in line to start after spending every game in 2023 as the Texans’ emergency third-stringer. Keenum last started during a two-game stint with the Browns. His only action since then was a pair of appearances last season with the Bills, during which he attempted a total of seven passes.

Given that light workload, along with Mills’ familiarity with the Texans, the move comes as something of a surprise. Mills started 26 games between 2021-22 after joining the team as a third-rounder. Despite a 2-9 record as a rookie, the Stanford product flashed potential at times, earning the No. 1 role in his second campaign. A regression proved an upgrade under center would be needed in the offseason, however, leading to the decision to draft Stroud second overall in April.

Stroud’s highly impressive rookie campaign has been interrupted by a concussion, leaving the Texans with a decision to make in the heart of a playoff push. Mills and Keenum split first-team reps during the week, Bien-Aime adds, so today’s news points to the latter having impressed over the past few days. Keenum has made 64 starts in his career, which began in 2013 with Houston.

The former UFDA has posted a winning record only twice in a season, though, leaving him to bounce around the NFL over the course of his tenure. The 35-year-old was viewed by some as a luxury in the Texans’ QB room given Mills’ continued presence and the addition of Stroud in the draft. The team made it clear they were not looking to trade him in advance of the deadline, a stance which has now proven to be quite signficant.

Houston is one of six AFC teams which entered Week 15 with a 7-6 record and thus in position to compete for a wild-card spot. The Texans are also one game behind the Jaguars for the lead in the AFC South, leaving plenty to play for on Sunday. Head coach DeMeco Ryans has expressed optimism about Stroud’s progress in recovering from the concussion, so he could return in time for Week 16. For now, though, the Texans’ offense will rely on Keenum’s ability to perform in his season debut.

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