In surprising news out of Houston, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak announced Thursday that Case Keenum would start at quarterback on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Keenan began the season as the Texans' third quarterback on the depth chart, but a terrible start to the season by Matt Schaub has opened the door for the 2012 undrafted free agent.
Schaub threw nine interceptions in six games, including four returned for touchdowns. The Texans made the switch to T.J. Yates last week when Schaub went down to injury, but he struggled in a reserve role -- throwing two interceptions of his own.
Sunday will be Keenum's first career NFL start. The University of Houston star won the Sammy Baugh Trophy in 2009 and 2011 as the nation's top college passer, but questions about his NFL skill set left him undrafted. The two-win Texans are looking for a spark and it remains to be seen if the quarterback switch can be enough.
Rumors have swirled this season that the Tennessee Titans could trade wide receiver Kenny Britt after a lackluster season and loss of a starting role. Head coach Mike Munchak asserted Thursday that the team has no intention of trading the struggling receiver, and would like to use him more in its offense.
The Titans are trying to hold onto a tenuous second-place standing in the AFC South while quarterback Jake Locker recovers from a hip injury.
The New England Patriots are desperate to get more offensive weapons, as the team has avoided a series of near-losses in 2013, but the Pats will need to wait a little longer for star tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Gronkowski's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told a Miami radio show that his client would not play until his condition was cleared by independent orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder was supplanted at quarterback by Matt Cassel due to injury and has since been passed over for free agent signee Josh Freeman, who will start this week against the New York Giants.
Ponder told media Thursday that he did not know whether he would stay in Minnesota or try to move on to a new organization, but it's unclear where he'd get an opportunity to start after a three-year career that has seen Ponder throw 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions while posting a quarterback rating of 75.8.
Harrison Smith will require surgery on an injured toe sustained against the Carolina Panthers in Week 6, but will wait until the end of the 2013 season to have it repaired.
Smith is likely to be placed on injured reserve to allow his toe to heal, but it's the Vikings safety's plan to continue to play with the injury and make it through the second half of the season after a short break.